Apparently my writing of late has had a dark shade to it. It has held overtones of grief, particularly my poems, and has been a cause for minor concern, or so others tell me. And all such comments have been marked with a tinge of curious concern as is befitting for those who have a personal connection.
So this morning I write to you to assure you all is going to be alright. Indeed, the last few weeks, tainted by shades of sadness, have been a very productive time and allowed a deeper than usual connection with my own feelings. There is a place for darker emotions in the creative process which I feel goes unappreciated and I am not alone in this observation as you may glean from a quote taken from a letter of Anais Nin:
You must not fear, hold back, count or be a miser with your thoughts and feelings. It is also true that creation comes from an overflow, so you have to learn to intake, to imbibe, to nourish yourself and not be afraid of fullness. The fullness is like a tidal wave which then carries you, sweeps you into experience and into writing. Permit yourself to flow and overflow, allow for the rise in temperature, all the expansions and intensifications. Something is always born of excess: great art was born of great terrors, great loneliness, great inhibitions, instabilities, and it always balances them.The Diary of Anais Nin Vol.4
“Great art was born of great terror, great loneliness…” is maybe something we need to understand and in doing so give ourselves permission to dwell in the whole range of our emotions rather than to be caught in the seemingly ever present admonitions to be positive, to buck up, to get with the programme.
Life is an immense spectrum of emotions and the more commonly acceptable ones are only a small part of these. Indeed, it is only the duality of the spectrum that allows for those acceptable ones. If you never touch the emotions that are call forth by terror you cannot know those created by security. If there is no cold how can we know hot? There is no such thing as love if fear does not exist. So, if we are to seek to give meaningful expression from one state of emotion we ought to have known the other.
And me and my darker emotions? Well grief, if indeed I have tarried there, is an emotion that touches us across our whole being, needs understanding, needs releasing and giving voice to, and can be a rich seam of creativity if allowed to be so. Not something that would usually be said, I know, but inspiration lurks in the strangest of places. The creative process is indeed an act of confession, a bearing of the soul. I would encourage all people to give expression to the things they feel, the emotions that move them, as an act of understanding and a commencement of their own creative process. We are all creative beings. It’s the essence of our nature and the place where we find our truest self.
Every emotion is a source of creativity. Some emotions are more self possessing and are, at the same time, richer in content.
Let me close this letter with a few lines from a song by the singer song writer Passenger:
Well, you only need the light when it’s burning lowLet Her Go
Only miss the sun when it starts to snow
Only know you love her when you let her go
Only know you’ve been high when you’re feeling low
Only hate the road when you’re missing home
Only know you love her when you let her go
You want to know the light, really know the light, it’s essence, it’s effects on you, it’s many hues? Then I would encourage you to embrace the darkness and explore that and then you’ll have a context for understanding. And like wise with other things. You want to understand home? Then go to a place that is not home, that is far removed from home and very much unlike it. Then you’ll begin to understand, to have a real perspective and a context for opinion and feeling. But be aware, going to those alternative places and experiences can be pleasant but can also be unsettling, challenging or even unpleasant.
Yours, mining rich seams,
One thought on “Monday Musing”
As usual, Wic, you’ve got a point! It takes courage to, as you say, “touch the emotions that are called forth by terror.” I wonder if we “know those created by security” because that’s the state for which we are created and called to dwell in.
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