This blog fell off the radar for a good reason.
Major shifts, changes, reprocessing of data. Painful as hell. Worth it? Yes. YES. A thousand times YES.
I never got that “an artist’s birth by fire” crap before. I thought I got it, but I didn’t. I thought it meant you went through a lot of painful shit and eventually just started slinging your pain into a canvas or a camera shutter or a block of words or whatever medium grabbed you, and the product was art because it was wrought from a different hand than the norm, from a bottomless well of terrible emotion instead of an intellect. And the difference was what made it art. Made it stand out of the background noise of living.
The fire that births an artist is not the pain. The fire is the healing of the pain. The fire is the consolidation of past experience into a present that’s acceptable and a base from which to move forward. The fire is the part where you look around at the shattered mess inside your head and decide it’s time to start putting it together. And to do that you have to let someone else see in there. You let them reach their hand into the very deepest ache of your hurt, and sift through the ash of your mistakes, and guide you into standing upright. You let yourself be shown where the fissures are. You begin to fix them. You learn what matters. What doesn’t. You have to let go of what doesn’t matter, no matter how much you want it to matter. You have to take a solid, honest, uncompromising look at the mistakes you’ve made, at what circumstances threw you to the ground in the first place. You have to give yourself credit for what you’ve lived through and you have to give yourself hell for failing and you have to throw all that on the scale of justice and hope to God it evens out.
So now the fire burns away the unessential. The fire purifies. The fire rights the wrong.
I have been able to create what I’ve been creating, what I’m still creating, because of where I’ve been. I have to say this to myself as clearly as I can because it is the most important concept I’ve gotten during this time of change: IT’S ONLY WASTED PAIN IF YOU DON’T LEARN FROM IT.
It doesn’t matter what happens with this anymore. The drive to make the product perfect, to make it right, pulls me forward, but the product itself has lost importance. I learn by doing.
I am learning, I am learning, I am learning. I learn. Forever, I learn. New neural connections blossom in my skull. I begin to see the paths that connect, to see with clarity what perfection we strive for, to understand the place we spend our lives is in the effort. I understand how little I understand. The humbling is empowering. The base from which I step into the future.
Tomorrow, this will be torn down again.
The day after that, I’ll begin again to build it back up.