These are some lovely definitions created by that treasure trove of new words the dictionary of obscure sorrows. I have always been a huge fan and these are some of my favorites.
n. a kind of melancholic trance in which you become completely absorbed in vivid sensory details—raindrops skittering down a window, tall trees leaning in the wind, clouds of cream swirling in your coffee—which leads to a dawning awareness of the haunting fragility of life, a mood whose only known cure is the vuvuzela.
n. the strange wistfulness of used bookstores, which are somehow infused with the passage of time—filled with thousands of old books you’ll never have time to read, each of which is itself locked in its own era, bound and dated and papered over like an old room the author abandoned years ago, a hidden annex littered with thoughts left just as they were on the day they were captured.
What defines an artist?
Is it a single piece of work that touches millions, or is it the consistent grinding out of good quality content that keeps a core audience enraptured over decades?
I don’t think there is an answer to the question, but it’s something that has sparked my curiosity over the past few years, what really makes someone or something great?
One of my favorite art makers is Studio Ghibli, that mastermind of animated work that has spanned decades, creating in my mind what can only be described as visual masterpieces that even 20 years later still enrapture me with their riot of colors and heartwarming stories of growth and perseverance.
Ghibli works are not perfect, nothing is, but they touch my heart, and have touched the hearts of millions of people around the world. Yet I still meet people every year who have never heard of Ghibli or any of its films, and look at me with a slightly puzzled look as I wax eloquently about how awesome they are.
No matter how amazing we think something is, there will always be someone who comes around and simply doesn’t think that what we love is anything special, much less worth taking the time to look at.
It’s that diversity of opinion that creates such a vast difference in the artistic work available to us. As people grow up and gravitate towards different aspects of culture and life, the work they produce becomes an amalgam of all these differing interests and gives us a huge swath of variety in the works produced.
So what some parts of society consider great work are laughed at by others as utter garbage not worthy of existence, it’s a sobering thought for those of us who work in any of the artistic fields since our egos tend to be quite sensitive to someone thinking our work is a piece of crap.
The world is full of everything and anything you can imagine these days, and I am quite happy to spend my days trying to create a space where people can laugh and cry and reminisce about their experiences through my work and the works of others I enjoy.
Especially Ghibli films, which are the most awesome and wonderful things ever and if you disagree you are obviously deranged.
Ruptured spleen and splattered blood
human frailty spilled out for the world to see
a canvas of pain and suffering
walking through streets of midnight
amongst rubble strewn streets
choking on a scream
choking on hope
choking on this thing we call life
dreaming of a place
anywhere but this
this weakness is
nothing but a joke
and I am nothing
but the laughing God
ruler of blood splattered
rubble strewn streets
and scattered dreams
Inspiration is fleeting, a momentary pang of insight.
Real creativity is work.
It’s ink stained fingers tapping along the edges trying to find the rhythm of a word dancing on the tip of your tongue, straining to convince it that a piece of paper is a better place for it to settle on then some weird organ that some cultures think is interesting to eat.
Real creativity is running into that hail of bullets knowing you’re going to come out missing a limb or two, or maybe a friend you’ve known for 10 years.
It’s raw and passionate and fucked up and usually makes you want to smash your face into a brick wall because you’ve been staring at this damn screen for 3 hours and the most you’ve come up with is that Timmy is a loner.
Who the hell names their kid Timmy these days anyway, no one I hope.
There is no magic to creativity.
Most of the best writers and artists are plodding along usually bored out of their minds trying to figure out how to come up with something that won’t make them want to kill themselves after they release it.
It’s a dangerous game, this creativity business and anyone who wants to take part in it has to be ready to slice up their soul into itsy bitsy pieces and put it in the blender and hope to hell that it’s a semi decent smoothie at the end.
So fuck inspiration.
Just do the work.
I reach out
but there is nothing to hold onto
Falling without end
The wind tears my skin
again and again
Purgatory is within
There are no boundaries
between past and present
A cycle of fear and disgust
played out, no control.
I empty out through blinded eyes
and overflow, choking on the waste
Freedom only in death.
Life only in forgetting.
Can’t forget. Still alive.