It’s Thursday. Time for the Thursday post.
To be honest, when I started this blog, I called it The Stifled Artist because I was feeling very stifled. I was in my twenties, and I kept choosing jobs I hated, so I decided to rant about them on the interwebs.
The blog was also an attempt to simply write more. And I’ve kept it up since 2007, so…
I also wanted to connect with other creative people. I would say I’ve been pretty successful in that regard, too. I didn’t find the millions I was looking for, but I did find a handful of cool people, fellow writers and musicians, who I know still read this thing even though they don’t comment. Which is one thing that keeps me still writing it. My psychic ability to deduce whether or not people are still reading it. Yep. You are. Don’t lie.
And why are you still reading it? Because. When you can read this thing and peek into my insanity, it makes you feel better about yours. Admit it. You’ve read this blog and been like, “Damn. She’s crazy. At least I’m not THAT crazy.”
How do I know this? Because. I do the same thing when I read other people’s personal writing. That’s the point. If it’s not entertaining, it makes you want to cry. It helps to hear what other people have struggled with. That’s the whole reason I do this thing even though the only reward really is the catharsis of being able to rant in public. We all make mistakes in our journey to get ourselves out there into the world. No artist is birthed in anything other than embryo with the potential for growth.
So, it still feels silly to call this The Stifled Artist, because I don’t feel stifled in the form of my art. But I don’t want to change it to something stupid like The Growing Artist or The Abundant Artist or The Jolly Happy Clever Artist. That would not reflect my macabre self-deprecating sense of humor and general cynicism mixed with an epic jug of hope.
When it comes to writing non-fiction from my personal life and writing lyrics to songs, I am shocked at the power of words to convey emotion across time and space. I never would have started writing anything here at all if I didn’t believe in that power. If you read some of Aleister Crowley’s writings on magick, he talks a lot about the magic of the word for manifestation of events and realities. Alan Moore talks about it too, as I mentioned in Writing As Magic.
I’m baffled by how writing something down can lead to that thing actually happening. I think we simply don’t believe enough. We keep ourselves beaten down because we’ve got this circus in our head of parental figures, teachers, exes and ratty neighbor kids telling us that our ideas are stupid and to get in the real world. It’s easier to limit ourselves, to create self-made boundaries and lines.
Well, I’m here to say that the real world is what you think the real world is. Beyond the physical structures that make up what we see in front of our eyes is a world we can’t confine or define, made up of our creations.
Here’s a personal example. I had a lady once tell me that she believe that the lyrics to songs she was listening to created her reality, so she only listened to happy songs. You’re integrating the words you listen to into your head every time you listen to them, she said. Imagine what that does to your subconscious.
Since I listen to a lot of very dark kind of mopey post-punk type music, I was averse to her projection. I am NOT going to stop listening to The Cure, I thought to myself. Robert Smith is amazing.
Recently I found an old song I’d written, that had seemingly come straight from my own subconscious. And what do you know. The lyrics applied exactly to a situation I was currently having in my life. Word for word. It was uncanny. I’d created precisely what I’d written about in my song in real life. Again.
I started listening to the lyrics to other songs of mine and found the same thing. In some instances, lyrics that had applied to an old scenario, now applied to a current situation as well.
What the fuck?
Words are powerful things. If you believe in the Bible (I think it’s likely a work of fiction, but I grew up being read the stories), the first line says, “In the beginning was the word.”
We create our realities to a large extent. How we perceive people and events around us, what our creations mean about our perceptions. Creation is a powerful tool. A lot of times we overlook that power because real life seems so subtle and innocuous and non-descript. Sometimes we’re just numb to our powers. It’s too scary to know how much we actually have.
Does this mean I’m going to start writing happy songs about bluebirds and Sesame Street type scenarios?
But it does give me food for thought about how much energy to invest in creating songs about broken things. It feels like my songs are a boomerang sometimes. I throw them out there hoping to get rid of certain scenarios and emotions I’ve experienced, wanting to help others going through those same scenarios, but the scenarios and emotions just return right back to me.
To think I could create something and have it not be a part of me again is ludicrous I suppose, but I always thought once I created something it became it’s own thing outside of me with a power of its own to exist beyond my own limited interpretations. I think this is still true. But I’m starting to be more careful with what I’m manifesting with the songs I’m creating and listening to over and over again.
What if I created lyrics pertaining to a situation that was fabulous and awesome and not fucked up and then found myself in that situation? It’s worth an experiment.