Everyone has at least one thing that makes them irrational. My irrationality is losing time; when I feel others have stolen it from me, particularly the time I have worked hard to carve out. If I’ve gotten up early, ignored the dishes, laundry, breakfast, the thousand and one ways to lose a morning – dove off the dawn’s deep end into the page – it is with the deepest of rage I am pulled back to the surface, tangled in interruption.
Creativity can solve a lot of problems. I have yet to solve the problem of other humans. Queries about my morning, the weather, what I am working on, tasks and questions – this is the perfect recipe for a slow burn leading to volcanic temper. In my more empathetic moments I am not proud of this. I understand that the price of companionship is giving away time. In most of my other moments, I don’t care, as long as I am left alone.
Once a piece of writing is gone – stolen by things that fill time but leave no record – there’s very little I can do to get it back. I know what the piece should have been. When I struggle through trying to force it back onto the page, it almost never works. I am not yet a good enough writer to grasp at what should have been. I am a writer who can hardly trust myself to write.
These days there’s a new part of my brain. It says: nothing is as important as getting the words on paper. Rush to give them form. They have a split-second chance to emerge into this world. Once that chance is gone, only the stillborn corpses are left.
From the viewpoint of creation, distraction is an unnecessary act of violence. The perpetrators don’t know and don’t care. Is it any wonder I feel the worst mix of grief, despair, and destructive rage?
Take away the created, and you’re left with the void. Take away the act of creation, and you’re left with the act of destruction. Hinduism elegantly wraps this truth around the god Shiva’s dance, but human reality is a far more tenuous, ridiculous spectacle.
I create to keep destruction at bay. I trick myself out of grief and despair, that dark tide that wells up through cracks in my brain on a daily basis; I create to trick myself into a world full of faith, potential, beauty, the trick of humanity at its best.
Unfortunately the present price seems to be avoiding humanity at its usual. Perhaps one day I’ll learn a new trick: the trick of moderation. I’ll understand the trick of giving time freely, being generous with the present and easy towards the future. No more panicked press to capture what slips through the cracks.
Until then, take this rage from me. I can bear the grief of lost words if it means not hurting another, words unsaid and well-forgotten. It is the price of being alive, the priceless price of existing in a world full of change and endless chance.