There is no doubt that I am at my most creative when I am at my darkest. I know this is true for most creative people. Pain, anguish, mania, and anger feed creative energy. The birthing process is painful, bloody, and exhausting. The closer I get to finding mental and spiritual clarity, the more difficult it is to find those brilliant bursts of mania fueled scribbles. Those moments when the words flow at lightening speed, when my fingers can barely keep pace. I look back on my writing from several years ago an am frankly amazed at the gush of witticism that spewed forth from my brain. I would not go back to that mindset if you paid me though. I had plunged into an abyss, writing was very often my lifeline to the light.
My Grandmother was a brilliant and prolific painter. After her death we were preparing for a sale and showing of her work. I mentioned to my Mom that the volume of work was staggering. My Mom replied, "Because there was a lot of anger there." We hate to think of our beloved, benevolent, serene elders in such a light. But you can see it in her paintings if you look; the bold brush work, deep dark colors, red predominant. Later in life she did a series of fantastic abstract women. For my Grandmother maybe was a lifetime of feeling caged by her generation, and shackled to aspects of life that were too banal. Or that she got her start later in life. But that is sheer speculation on my part. I do not say any of this to disparage her, or anyone else. It is just a fact, and a common truth among artists. Creativity so often comes from suffering.
Now, my dilemma is to find a way to create from a place of peace and calm, instead of turbulence and anxiety. A year ago I came to the realization that I needed to work towards harmony and a spiritual reconnection within myself. I wrote a list of list of Needs. Top on the list were: Self Reliance; Independence; Solitude; Spiritual Reconnect; Harmony; Health; To Write. A simple list, but not so simple an achievement. But I move closer with the passing of time. I keep these thoughts at the forefront of my actions. I think on what I am doing, where I am, where I am going, and if it is moving me towards my Needs. With this comes the need to pay the Piper, the loss of my Mania and Melancholy that has been such a source of energy for me. I have to find a way to tap into alternate, healthy energy sources so I can feed my fire without burning myself into an empty hull.
The price of creation can be high. But I know there is a way to let that payment feed back into my spirit. I just have to find it and tap into it. That is my path. That is the way I must follow. I will follow the light, and let it feed my spirit.