Friday, March 13, 2015

It's Hard to Write When I'm Happy

This is a brilliant piece by Sarah Kay that freakin' spoke to me. Or rather, more accurately, felt like I ...spoke it. I found it unbelievable how true it was for me. Mostly because it was literally the first thing I clicked on random when I decided to check more of her stuff out.

Lately, especially since the recent literary trend of "hugot" became popular (which is a filipino word for pulling something out from somewhere) in the local scene, I've been feeling out of place as a writer. It is where you basically express bitterness and hurt from your own life (usually lovelife) through innocuous posts that look like general advice or insight at first glance. Kind of like subtweeting, but you're subtweeting your own life.

When I was younger, all of my work came from a place of hugot. Seems that the more hurt I was, the easier it was to squeeze out some songs and poems and whatnot. Out of necessity, if you will. They made me feel saner and gave a sense of purpose for the mental turmoil.

I watched this performance and it came together in my head. For better and for worse, I've grown into a state of mind that this form of art no longer is a necessity that my mental peace depends upon.

Writing has been a way for me to pick my own head and emotions apart, to process reality and also the less-real monsters that only exist in my head. I used to have to do all that on my own, but now it's as if Beardy has become a constant sounding board and confidant. I definitely don't believe that I feel less things and therefore write less things. In fact, I feel more things now. It's easier for me to cry now, and easier to laugh. It's like that age-old adage that says that the more room you make in your heart for sadness, the more room it also has for happiness and love. Or something like that anyway.

In fact it was with Beardy that I first shared this realisation. I showed him the video and told him it's what's been going on with me. At first he was like, wow that was really nice and well-written. Then after a beat.. Wait, how do you relate to it?

And I said (and please excuse the nauseating cheesiness of language, because I'm pretty straightforward with him with my feelons):

"like hurt and anger and dejection fueled my writing
but i found peace and comfort in you
and often feel glazed [i meant like drunken-like smiling here, im now aware that it's not what glazed eyes signify, haha] and writing has stopped being a primal need
there's no emotional scab to pick at anymore"

And that last line felt insightful to me in a way that I used to feel about my writings and I realised that I still use my words in that kind of heart-baring, fizzy-head causing way. But I don't write it in blogs and notebooks much, going around and around in circles replaying things in my head, burning holes through memories until all that's left are the blackened and incomplete ugly parts and burnt fingers. Instead I do it with him, and my friends, and alone, in my own head. But unlike before, I don't overthink my emotions as much and it's lead me to become a more stable person.

Instead, I've been more likely to stay silent and think about things as they are, or better yet, to just... try and experience and know life as it is right now. Where am I right now? Who am I? What's the next step? What should I do? How much am I enjoying this? How can I express my love more? It's still imperfect, and still involves too much time in my head as opposed to just being, which is the ultimate goal, but it's a step closer.

In thinking about this I also got reminded of a poem I wrote about Beardy a few years back, upon observing that even though my usual "move" when I get infatuated with someone was to write them songs, I actually just end up drawing him. (I've written maybe a couple songs for him, but nothing that stuck and I honestly can't remember them! I think I'm really aging, or just not as impressed by my own work anymore as to remember every single thing I make.)

i sketched this while watching him sleep on Skype. i called it Chasing You While You Sleep. STAP JUDGING MEEEEEEE~

I loved all of them with words
I sang to their shapes in my memory foam head
I wrote stories around the ghosts they left
But you, I like to draw you instead.
Loving you is silent.
Tracing your forehead, your chin and your nose
No need for composing melodic weeping
True love doesn’t dream, it knows. 
I can feel you cringing all the way from here. Are you done? Good.

Moving on. even though it's mostly been a positive experience ending up this way, I would still like to eventually find a way to not need to have writing be a thing that I absolutely must do to not be sad. That would make sadness a prerequisite. I would like to write to write, because I think it's the core practice that brings my interests together, and it's the thing that can express the meaning behind all the other things that I do that don't have writing as an element. I feel that I've lived too long using it as a way to just be okay because I wasn't, and I'd like to elevate my experience in a way that I strive for more than that in a more automatic way. I want working harder and creative more frequently to be part of my nature again, even though it's not needed in an urgent, grasping way. I don't want to live mostly on autopilot anymore. And I have been trying lately, and yet the results seem very small.

But that's the thing that makes being present really helpful to me right now. Instead of focusing on that fact, I am able to let myself experience the journey itself and accept it when it is slow and difficult and frustrating, and keep at it anyway.

After all, it's not like I have anything better to do!

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