Thursday, September 15, 2011

Rest Until Night

Insanity starts slowly and creeps in on you, drip by drip, drop by drop, like coffee in a coffee pot, or chinese water torture, filling your mind a little at a time. At first, no one notices, or at the most they think you're a bit eccentric, but eventually it becomes harder and harder to hide. Then you might become a writer or an artist and you can change the name of insanity to imagination or creativity and that makes it okay, even makes it cool. Your mind can overflow onto paper or canvas and others who are happy to know there are those in the world who have thoughts crazier than they do, might even pay money for those thoughts, for that feeling, or idea, or image. They write to let you know how creative or artistic they think you are and thank you for that poem or painting or image that made them feel just a little less insane than you. You feel better because something in your story or your art resonated with them and so you're not alone in this world after all.

writing is a lonely battle. One person, one mind, one pen against a blank page. You don't know where the pen will take you next, but you're pretty sure it's going to be painful, and so you begin the trudge uphill, whacking away at a never-ending tangle of thoughts and metaphors, trying to make sense of the senseless. Love and Death and the Universe. You've decided they make no sense, but you have to try anyway, because to give up would be to lose the battle, and the battle is what keeps you going. The thing can be terrifying and at the same time exhilirating. You try to explain that to someone else, but those who understand, who truly understand, are few and far between. After all, who would be afraid of letters on a page? Twenty-six letters. Twenty-six letters and variations of those letters come together and from the same twenty-six letters come stories of kittens and killers and that's where things get scary.

Insanity, starts out slowly, a thought or two, nothing to be concerned about. Insanity sleeps during the day and is up all night. Poking, prodding at you, like the moments before Christmas morning. Pushing and pulling, throwing your thoughts around like a puppy with its favorite toy. Tearing at your psyche until you're left rumpled up in a pile in the corner of your room. You wake in the morning, and escape the thoughts for a while, caught up in breakfast, and dishes and learning and work, a thought or two might peek over the edge of your day, shadows in the corner, to remind you of what nighttime will bring - but mostly insanity rests until night.

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