I know, art isn’t always pain.

I never know what to write here. Sometimes I open up a new draft and sit down and at worst it’s like my brain got drunk and passed out. At best I’m the airport attendant who issues you your boarding pass and checks your bags, only no one is in line and there aren’t any flights going anywhere, so what am I to do? Just twiddle my thumbs and imagine all the trips I’d love to take.

It’s not just writer’s block or a lack of ideas. I think there’s plenty in my life that would be interesting to write about. I think that’s the case for most of us even though we struggle with the words. I recently read the book Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert at the behest of one of my favourite co workers. She’s someone who really gets me and could pretty much be me we are so in synch. When she recommended I read it, I bumped it in line ahead of 5 other booked recently lent to me to read and plowed through it in 2 days.  Not because I’m a huge fan of Elizabeth Gilbert (I only read the first 100 pages of Eat, Pray, Love, although I do mean to finish it), but because it seemed like a pretty relevant book to me at this point in my life. She talks a lot about creative living, inspiring the reader to create, create, create like it’s our birthright… because it is. I remember when I started this blog I felt like it was a major channel for my own creative living. I basically rediscovered my love of poetry because I decided to open a wordpress account one day. A lot of my poems exist because I suddenly had this empty canvas to put them on. This blog, though monstrously neglected, means a lot to me because I know it’s here, waiting for me. My own little universe of creative living.

I think one of the biggest things I took from the book is that your art doesn’t have to come at the cost of your happiness. You don’t have to be pained to be an artist, although it sure fuels a lot of creative work. When I think about it, though, when you’re happy, you’re happy, right? You have all this happiness energy that you exude and pour out into the world, to the people around you, and it’s a joy to do. Happiness energy is readily accepted by those around you, it amps up the happiness energy in others and everyone falls into this trap of idiotic bliss where everything is possible, so why not conquer the world? But when you’re hurt, you have to try to contain it somehow. You have to go to work, to the store, and unless you’re an asshole you have to do your best to contain the pain inside yourself so that it doesn’t taint others. And that’s where the art comes in. Since we can’t let the pain loose like we can with happiness we have to put it somewhere, right? Something has to diffuse it or it’ll destroy you. At least that’s why I think I put so much of it into poetry, and the rest of it I just dance or yoga out. After channeling all my hurt into a poem at least I can look at it and say it was all for something.

I’m not saying I only enjoy writing and creating when I’m miserable, I love creating all the time, it’s just that it feels more necessary and potent at times when I’m at critical breaking point, you know?

Semi-related, but did you guys know there’s an awesome poetry community over on instagram? I’ve been posting a lot of smaller poems there, random thoughts that come into my head (even the happy ones!) If you guys are also on there leave your name in the comments so I can find you! You can find me over there as @taehreh.

Hope you all have a beautiful day!

eavesdropping

in the book shop under poetry
two strangers whispering
the first, “why is poetry so expensive?
the second, “because poets are starving.
I think that I could stand
to lose a few pounds
and then wonder briefly
whether it’s best
to stop writing
or skip dinner.

This is what mindless work does to me

So after working a mind-numbing job I hate all day I came home unnecessarily grumpy and proceeded to wonder why on earth no one in the world is paying me millions of dollars to write poems and dance all day. I mean that’s not such an extravagant request, is it? Sort it out universe.

Anyway. After that I proceeded to get more and more tired, which led to being more and more grumpy. However, within the last hour or so I’ve moved on to the more fun stage of being over-tired. The everything-I-do-and-see-and-hear-is-funny-but-only-to-me phase. This phase is great for the first 40 minutes or so before you miss the sleep window and then you’re in the twice-as-grumpy-as-before-except-now-you-can’t-sleep-and-the-world-is-awful phase. But before I get there, I thought I’d go ahead and take advantage of the stupid fun and share with all of you unfortunate enough to be reading this what I spent the last half hour of my life thinking about.

You see, I happen to think I’m pretty hilarious, although only my best friend would agree with me and everyone else thinks I’m just an idiot. But let’s junk with the naysayers and assume for the sake of this awful blog post that I’m right. A long time ago (we’re talking 8+ years) I used to write down what I thought were some highly amusing jokes in a journal and assume that one day, when I was a talented artist (which has/will never happen) I’d compile them into some sort of comic book. I hadn’t thought about that ridiculous notion for many years, but then I started to think about comic books, or graphic novels (I’m hip with the modern terms). Then I started to think about villains and superheroes.

I don’t know why.

Anyways, this train of thought progressed until I got it in my head that I could write an awesome graphic novel centred around my dog, Buttercup, who is very much a villian and a hero in one. Pretty exciting premise, right? If you’re not yet convinced, I present you with this:

ButtercuptheHowlerss

Amazing.

I envision her as an impossible-to-contain mega hero with zero tolerance for injustice. She strikes at the slightest infraction of the law, and only with the help of me, her sidekick, can she be contained. She is both menace and hero, loathed and loved. I named her the howler because she likes to bark incessantly at home. It drives me up the wall, but now I realise she must be using her barks to alert her superhero friends of various crimes happening around the world that she detects with her superior hearing powers. It’s all starting to make sense.

Actually here’s an incomplete impromptu list of her powers, as I see them:

  • A bark that deafens and incapacitates foes.
  • Breathes underwater, thus can drag enemies into the depths to drown (she is a water dog so this makes sense).
  • Digs holes which enemies fall into and are stranded until someone comes to dig them out. [addendum: Buttercup leans over the hole and drools on them while they are stuck there. And she has an obscene amount of drool, so this is a particular punishment.]
  • Menacing growl which paralyses.
  • Uncontrollable temper which frightens and strikes fear in the hearts of those who cross her.
  • Humongous canines capable of piercing through an arm, or leg…or heart.

Yeah..

I guess I’ll stop there and go get some sleep before I completely lose it. Feel free to unfollow on your way out of the post.