I am alone. I am sitting in the same chair that I’ve been using for over fifteen years. I search my feelings and the memories flood in. Usually they are filled with some form of resentment.
I read in a book that ‘manic-depression may trigger the desire to communicate, make perceptions more vivid, and loosen associations in a way that makes written creativity more likely.’
Do we seek this place so that creativity could flourish or does the stress of creative work simply drives us over the edge? Is the creative life only pleasing because the way we are… prevents us from holding stable jobs?
I’m thinking of people… people I once recalled as friends.
They are nothing but memories for a story I have yet to write or finish writing. My sister told me that every face you have seen in a dream are based on the faces you have seen in life. Even the ones you only saw for a split second. The strangers you see in the store. The coffee shop. On the bus. Every possibility of human connection that you pass by on your way through the day.
On average, you only participate with the same seven people on a daily or weekly basis. When someone else comes in — be it a new friend or a prospective lover — they will replace someone from the original members. We move in and out of circles just like that. Everything is in constant flux.
Weather. We always bring up the stupid weather. We are bridging for commonalities. We are feeling our way through the darkness. We are hoping that maybe, if we can work at it, we can find our true selves hidden away. The innocence of dreaming and imagination. The lost childhood of our past.
I see myself running. It’s my earliest memory. It’s an expansive park. I’m on a path that runs between a row of giant trees. They are so large and dense that they block out the sun and everything underneath, including the path, is hidden away from the light.
I hear a voice. Someone calls my name and I stop. There are people ahead of me but also people behind me. I don’t know where to go. Forward, and greet the new? Or return to before and familiar? I am barely three and yet I come to the conclusion that this will be an endless struggle. I can never remember how the memory ends.
I return to the present moment. I am alone. I plan on writing. I plan on working the night away, as I always do. I’ve been going through the same thought process for the past year or so. The same old promise: I can do this. I can make this work.
I look at what I’ve created so far. The meaningless symbols. I look beyond the format. I look beyond the description and dialogue and see people. They were characters thrown together in a hurry but now they are morphing and settling into richer molds of possibilities. There is hope one day someone will give them what they truly want…
The desire to be seen… to be heard… to connect.
I am feeling better. I know I’m still alone. I know there is a desire to connect with another. I know how the desires are being transferred into the characters and their stories. Although they cannot see me, I am still comforted by their presence.
And yet, I stall because I fear they will leave me. I refuse to give them their ending. I refuse their fulfillment of meaning and the opportunity to close the circle and begin again.
I push the feelings aside. Logic streams in. I must do what is right. I have to set them free. I have to learn to live alone or attempt to salvage the dying threads. I must not do this to them. These possible people.
I must write. I must finish. I must move on.