Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Random Meaningless Cubist Unblocking Post

'The Poet' - Pablo Picasso
'Oh, 500 channels and nothing on....' D'you ever get that feeling where there are so many things to do, so many thoughts to think, so many ideas to write about, that you can't possibly settle yourself to sit down to do just one???!
There are all these ideas floating around in my head like dust-motes right now, but until they're lit by a passing sunbeam (focus/inspiration/realisation/eureka/aha/yes), they'll just stay there as random meaningless entities. 

That's where I'm at at the minute. Synapses flaring, but nothing going to press. Yada, yada, yada/nada, nada, nada. I've been flirting with writing ideas for the last hour or so, but none gaining any worth in weight over the other. But I have to write something, so here it is - a nonsensical blabber about this existential grey area of writing (or any kind of creating - or doing - for that manner.)

I feel like a Cubist painting, a Picasso to be exact, all jagged pieces all over the place. (See aside and above). My blog posts are usually neat and themed and organised, so I thought I'd now chance a random roulette type of post, because that's all I got folks at the mo. And because today feels like a rock day, as Ernest Hemingway so bluntly put it: "Sometimes it comes easily and perfectly: sometimes it's like drilling rock and then blasting it out with charges."

So here I go with the blasting. This blog set out to be mostly about thoughts on writing, so here's some I've been having. (Granted, written not today, but somewhat relevant I think - pardon my opportunism.)

This reflection would come in pretty handy at a writing group equivalent to AA; or as a defence to an editor when deadlines are passed; or as a definition of a writer's job description; or as a balm to calm the neurotic babblings of the inner writer self while in block or disillusion mode; or as a justification of the see-saw writing curse; or an explanation for that numbed zone, the Bermuda triangle of the mind so to speak (where I am now, latitudes, longitudes I no longer can see.)

Ah-hem...Here goes:

I am a reluctant/rampant writer. Schizophrenic, even. Meaning, I do and I don’t. Write that is. To write or not to write.? To be or not to be? Double-sided double-edged sword dilemma. 

Writer and non-writer. Pick up a pen, put it down. Jekyll, Hyde. Do, don’t.  Do or die. One side doesn’t know the other. Me and my doppelganger self. Lions and tigers and bears (oh, my!) 

Binge, block - that’s my days. Stoicous, sober. From verbose to vacant. Overflowing to overwhelmed. Motor-mouth to mute. Raving random writer. Sometimes it’s white page wilderness. Big blank block. The weight of the world hanging over my words. Arctic cold isolation. Icy death. The page is too white; I could get lost there. 
Others, blessed white. Blessed blank, clean slate. The world hanging in my words. Arctic pristine landscape. Glittering ice-rink for show-stopping back-flips. I want to stun, shock. Fly free, trapeze through words.  Arctic wide open possibility. The page is so white; I could get found here.
I write to live, I live to write. Sometimes I think I have it. (The gift.) The tongue of flame, rain of words, lilt of language. The words write themselves, they write me. I write and feel right. I’m in a meadow of possibilities, blue skies, green daisy smiles, horizon inked with thousands of tonnes of pages. I’m the little mermaid, voice found, singing the song of myself. I’m every fairytale’s end. Sparking. Alive, alight. The world was blank; now my words colour it Impressionado style. 
And then, sometimes, I don’t. Sometimes it is transient, comes out of the elusive ether, like a snow-storm; settles, then melts away. Sloppy words and wishy-washy sentences. Dark, dank depths of winter quiet.
I can’t write, I can write. Angel of inspiration battles the devil of delusion and I shoulder the strife. The words stick, stutter, clog up the passages of thought and trapped, fester. They want out but I can’t let them. I can’t do them proud, will only sell them out. They fall to stick-image words, scrawl, and crawl away. I feel like a toddler muffled by a language I don‘t know. Tongue-tied-cotton-wool-stuffed-mouth silence. I’m deaf, dumb, blinded by the script of silence. I don’t write for a while and things feel numb. Bland. Like I’m colour-blind. Word-weary makes me world-weary. (Yawn).

Words come and go. They’re my allies, enemies. I live in words, I love words, I cower before their might. I listen carefully for them. Feel them float up from some hallowed place. Unknown portal. But first I have to put my hands to my ears and listen. Quiet the static. Quell the voices. Remember how to tell a story. Remember how to tell the story. 

I collect stories like a magpie, shiny silver fragments of life. I sift through days for the gold of poems. Little shavings of meaning I carve carefully into words. Putting them together is the hard part. So I stash them away. Until they grow. Grow up, grow old, stray away. Fall through my fingers like sand, unwrapped, untold. Sometimes I feel brave enough to write them, sometimes I don’t. I get rusty, out  of practice, afraid to get on the saddle again incase I fall off, fall to earth, break a leg, a wing, dream. 

So much to say. So much to tell. So many ways through the snow. Why can’t I write right? Is there a right way to write? The way is lonely, cold. The way is bright. Watch the pen shake in my hand. Watch it saunter, soar. Go-getter, then gone. Bound in words, blinded by words. I’m up, I’m down, written, un-written, black, white, blank.
I write and don’t write. Am and aren’t. Juxtaposing joker. Ambivalent anti-self, schizophrenic split-self scourge. I pop pills of placebo poetics, drink inspiration as a tonic, while I wait for the lightning strike. From depth of shadows to buoyancy of light.
But in the end, epilogue, last word honour, I am nothing without my verbal skin. Shed, re-grow, shed and grow again. I carry my word-world around as a satellite, seeing lamp, moon by my side; sometimes light, sometimes dark, full, fingernail-thin, but there, nonetheless. Always there. I feel it pull the tides of my mind. Keeping its quiet orbit. Keeping me in orbit. Writing keeping me right.


Until the next right time, 

~ Siobhán.


  1. Gee, I wish my writing/painting/desinging blocks were so eloquent and perfect! Brilliant job of describing that angst of creative stumbling. May I quote you for the creative coaching workshop that I am putting together? I think you have described so beautifully what I call the 'beehive in the brain' point--setting down to create and there is so much buzzing inside my head that there isn't enough clarity to pick a point to start! But it seems, as you've done here, it doesn't matter WHERE you start, just as long as you start. Something will emerge from the stone!Brilliant blog!

    1. Haha, so it's not that random and meaningless then...! Cool - a creative coaching workshop, tell me more! And you may quote away! The beehive in the brain, hmmmm... that's a scarily accurate metaphor! A beehive when all I need is just one little bee, darn it! As long as you start, yes, that is the important thing. Here here.

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