…a beating, throbbing, bleeding heart, pinched lightly between teeth, or encased in a loose fist. Love is alive, and precarious. Love is the absence of love and the love of love. Love attacks you from all sides, but you revel in your defencelessness, want to roll in the blood that seeps from your wounds because it is sweet and life-giving and if you can somehow work out a way to keep it, to siphon it back inside just so that it can pour out again, you will be able to sit on the knife-edge of crazed, intense love for ever. Love is an exchange. Love wants to bribe your soul, but you would happily give it. Love is laughing, love is remembering, love is reaching out and opening up. But love, too, is being left open; raw and exposed on a black mountain, grasping onto nothingness. Love is being forgotten or erased except in that sore, condensed part which stings and prickles salt tears in your eyes when it is prodded by love. Love is grief. Love is, from its very germination, a terminal, tragic knowledge. Love will not let you not love. Love is tyranny, denial, a departure from that independence you once knew, and love cannot help you. Love is a parasite. Love will feed you just enough to keep you alive, and in return it will take from you all that it needs. Love can make you fly; but it can leave you earthbound. Love does not know pity. Love can shine on you so brightly that it hides the black heart growing inside you, a cavernous, unfillable hole that grows as love grows. Love is the red mist behind your eyes. Love is a dark muse, goading you to heights inspired, masking your memory of sense and sanity and calm…
Someone once told me I needed to grow a thicker skin. But I usually take a perhaps twisted pleasure in feeling the knife in the wound, so I rejected this comment outright. It wasn’t meant as advice, anyway; more as criticism.
When it comes to rejection, however, it’s a different story. I feel the hurt too keenly, and with each rejection comes the questioning of my entire existence.
I’ve been asking myself what the solution is, and the answer I’ve come up with is that the more it happens, the less painful it will become.
And you have to be in the game to stand a chance of winning it, right?
It’s a funny thing, creativity.
Maybe you’re lucky and have it blooming from your fingertips, and you get to pick the cream of the crop.
Maybe you’re frustrated, and it’s trapped and building up like water in a hosepipe with a knot in it.
Mine is elusive. I never thought it could be governed by rules. But lately, I’ve come to understand two things about it. First of all, it’s so very true what they say – that creativity is like a muscle. It does need to be exercised, and the more it is exercised, the stronger and more flexible it becomes. The other thing: I know that my mind and my body need to be in their best form for creativity to sprout. Since in moments of darkness my creativity cannot bloom, I must do all I can to prevent those moments of darkness from closing in.
These are lessons to myself.
I read in an article the other day that studies show we still take in less information when we read from e-readers compared to paper books.
Now, I’m not exactly someone who speeds ahead, leading the charge for the new. You certainly won’t find me queuing up outside an electronics store to be one of the first to get their hands on the latest trending gadget. But neither am I someone who clings doggedly to the past, in fear, or out of nostalgia. I recognise the need to embrace change.
I love books. I love holding them, turning their pages. And I love the way magazines smell. But what did I do after reading that article? Went and downloaded three new e-books, of course. I’ll just make sure I concentrate extra hard on taking in what they have to tell me.
The other day, I was asked how I motivate myself to write.
Ha! I nearly spat my drink across the table.
Because, even if I lack the means to motivate myself to do anything else in life, writing is the one thing I don’t have – have never had – a problem with doing.
Sitting at my computer, or at my desk with a pen in my hand, does not and has never scared, intimidated or not appealed to me. In fact, it’s as near my idea of the perfect way to spend my time as I can realistically come up with.
Time, I said. Time. That’s the issue here.
How, in today’s setting of having to earn a living, manage a household, use but not allow yourself to abuse social media, network, read, exercise and have something resembling a social life, I asked, does one find the time to write?
Answers on a postcard, please, because I’m sure you don’t have time to write a letter.