Living in Frames, by meshing the lyrical moments of life with the captured images of experience. This is a reverie, a journey, the fork in the road, and the never-ending story....

Thursday, June 19, 2014

it's better to be like a ball with no edges.

I’d forgotten what it was like to put time into a longer project. Following the wrap up of graduate school, I optimistically deserted my thesis (and its many incarnations) knowing that it was in the best interest of my sanity to let my first manuscript stew in a drawer, out of sight, out of mind. And if I ever felt so inclined, dried up, or nostalgic, the one-foot draft pile would be there where I’d left it.

I honestly believed that there were bigger and brighter ideas to tackle out there (in the figment of every writer’s world). Things that people really cared about. I already knew some things, and could certainly write my knowledge into the broader spectrum of things.  And so it was the end of a proverbial relationship, my manuscript and I were taking a break, and surprisingly I didn’t feel a morsel of remorse over how it all went down.

I joked, It will be my first written, last published piece. Posthumously, of course. Since we all know how the ego loves morbidity.

I’d also forgotten what it was like to be in a relationship with another human being. Not another artist, not another project, but another person who made time for me and deserved my time in return. During the occasional bout of rationale, it seemed essential to shift my energies to what was budding between me and my new love interest. Someone actually wanted to be my partner! I didn’t know what to do with that sort of evidence. And once we got past the I Feel Worthy, You Feel Worthy insecurities, our shared sentiment to let our love run freely and evolve naturally, restored my faith in the organic matter of things. I didn’t realize how regimented I’d become in my personal life and routine, and how much I actually beat myself up over not creating or not producing enough/smarter/profound material; how much I aimed to be better at everything I attempted to an unhealthy degree.

It’s better to be like a ball with no edges, a friend reminded me. You just keep rolling with it, bumping along even the rockiest of terrain. Now, when you find you and your lifestyle are more fashioned like a box, you quickly become stagnant or sedentary, sometimes requiring a forceful budge to get momentum going again.

In less than two weeks, my partner and I will be beginning what we hope is a sustainable, cohabiting future. I confess there were years and years where I questioned if I could ever live with another person. And if I did, how would my art be affected? I worried about falling into one of those scary “comfort zones” in relationships, where self-motivation is muted, and passion gets squeezed out by obligation and the constant proof that unfulfilled individuals seek. I think about that line in the movie Reality Bites, where the character Vickie (played by Gene Garofalo) says, “My parents have been married for 26 years. They’re like brother and sister at this point. She goes to the bathroom with the door open… [Na-ah, I don’t want that. I want passion the whole way through]” And who could blame her?

So, the true test will be finding the balance of honoring the passions I know fulfill me as an individual (because I’m damn good at doing it alone) and melding together with my partner in a sharing of experiences and interests and dreams, and also being able to draw inspiration out of the places I never even thought to look before.