Sunday, April 22, 2012

Freeing the Captive

We are captives of ourselves. Does that seem self-evident when you think about it? The only limitations on us are those we impose, knowingly or not. I once formulated the following philosophy: Given that you have all ten fingers and toes, you get out of life exactly what you want - - - whether you know it or not. That is: barring some missing or broken parts, either physical or intellectual, what happens in your life is of your own making.

It does little to help if you complain or blame. Trying to find the reason for whatever state you are in, physically or intellectually or emotionally, may help you understand it, but doesn’t do much to move you on (or keep you where you are if that’s where you want to be). One of the grand features of being human is that along with those ten fingers and ten toes, comes the ability to move at will. Forward, backward, up or down or sideways doesn’t matter as much as having the ability to do so, and exercising it.

I’m not sure what brought these thoughts to mind today, except that for the moment I seem to have come to a stop creatively. Writing has become a bit harder (it’s always hard), and less enjoyable (that has always made the difficulty worthwhile – joy of writing a collection of words that says what I want to say in a way that makes me smile).

"It doesn’t sing," has always been the worst thing I could hear from a viewer or a reader (fiction, non-fiction, print or audio or film, it doesn’t matter). Words should sing, should do what music does, what art does: lift you up and away from where you are, spur a moment of recognition, make you say "Yes! That’s what I feel." It will not be all joyful, of course; none of us has a life that is only joy. Were that the case, we would never have happiness or generate a laugh from deep within, or release tears that cleanse the mind as they clear and lubricate our vision. So when my words don’t sing, I know it is the music within that is flat.

I am, for the moment, a captive of myself.

No comments:

Post a Comment