I was reading salon.com this morning, which is a shameful habit I've had since 1996 and I had to do it in a university computer lab on a monitor the size of a milk crate, and I found this piece, about a writer whose experience with Klonopin completely dulled her creative impulse, both desire and ability to express herself.
It sounded pretty nice.
"Well-known benzo side effects include 'emotional clouding' and 'loss of creativity,' which can be distressing whether someone wants to make art or not."
Well, but what about the someone who wants to not want to?
I don't know why, exactly, I want so badly for that urge to go away, that bone-deep need to make stuff or say stuff. Blogging should help, right? It should dispel the charge. But it doesn't and I don't know what to do.
Lots of you have asked, well, what is it you expect from the things that you make? Can you let go of the idea of these things existing for other people, can you break from the fear of having those things judged, will that free you up to make them without the crushing hate.
And I say, I don't expect anything from them. I don't expect them to be Great-capital-G, or famous, or significant, or important. I really don't. The thought of others judging me does not trouble me in the least.
That is not the root of that twanging nerve.
But there is no freedom in making things for my eyes only. I don't like to do it. I don't enjoy it, I don't see any point -- and the things I make for myself alone never, ever bring me joy. I am happy to sit and think my thoughts in silence for days on end, laugh at interior jokes, move myself to tears or joy or fury. I make sense of the world internally. I never could keep a diary going, but look at this shit here! (gestures around blog)
What I want from anything I do is a point of connection. A little ET-fingers-ouch something. I am so self-contained that sometimes it's lonesome in here. Are you lonesome in there, sometimes?
All I want is to feel like someone else understands the world the same way as I do, just for the briefest instant: 140 characters or a Facebook post or if a blog post catches you the right way or a poem that punches you in the gut or a joke that takes you by surprise and makes you laugh, or I can make you the best goddamn lemon meringue pie you ever had and you love it and for a second we both know what that tastes like, the union of sugar fluff and tang and sweet and richness and salty flaky crust that fills the whole universe.
We have the same thing for a second, and we are both not alone right then.
So what, then? Why is the blog both so comfortable and so not enough? Is it that I wish to communicate in other dimensions as well, that I need a challenge? But then why is that so threatening? Why do I instantly congeal into self-loathing the second I even begin to consider other forms of expression? (It's pretty funny to see. If anybody asks me, in person, about those other forms, I go from normalcy into a weird stammering repetitive trance about how no I don't do that, no it's better if I don't, no no that's not me I don't do that any more I never did that it would be a mistake. And I stop making eye contact and start shaking my head.)
Y'all are welcome to offer your thoughts. I can't figure the fucking thing out.
**Edited to add: But I don't think that's the same as caring what other people think, exactly. Since I operate from the standpoint of assuming everyone barely tolerates me at best, I take perverse delight in NOT giving a crap what other people think. The judgment of others never troubled me in the least -- since I know in my bones that whatever I do, some aspect of my being will be found wanting by somebody, if not everybody. I say all manner of gross, silly, dumb, naked, unpopular things here, without a care -- because I know that they are genuine.