I find myself with the urge to commit some thoughts to paper, but I’m not sure which ones or how to translate them from abstract ideas to concrete words. This creative process - the translation of thought into symbols - is familiar to me, often times it is so transparent it’s automatic. But not always. Call it writers block, call it confusion, call it cosmic interference… call it laziness, call it what you will - for some reason sometimes I have to force myself to wring out the words. This is such an occasion.
I used to be obsessed with knowing why everything is just so and what creates my motivation or lack thereof. Why do some people get some things while others don’t? It goes without saying that said understanding would, of course, reveal the answer; the magic formula that would fix everything and at the same time deliver unto me all my heart’s desires - with little or no effort. I’m no longer a big fan of analyzing the minutia. Taking a break to reflect, however, never hurts and I believe I am long overdue.
Although I have not posted to this space since Monday, my keyboard has not remained silent. Regular visitors here know that writing is a huge part of my life. It dominates my professional life, my educational life and my leisure life. All of these components (and others) are equally important. Indeed, finding something that I am equally passionate about in so many key areas of life gives me lasting gratitude. Although I enjoy all of the writing I do, the writing I produce for this blog is completely unrestricted. Most of my writing lately has been regulated by form or structure.
So there’s that - maybe I have a need to be creative in an unrestricted manner. I could buy that, but it’s not the whole answer. The whole answer is far bigger. I have been waxing philosophical lately; asking myself those age old questions while observing the world around me in a detached manner. I’m wondering about things like permanence, change, time, origins and destinations. It’s nothing unique, nothing new and no, I don’t have any Einsteinian insights about what makes the universe tick.
There are vast distances in time and space from the smallest subatomic particles to the universe… and beyond? Yet it is the more social aspects of human interaction that fascinate me. The news of the world and around the corner; the good, the bad and the ugly all wrapped up in a nice 30-minute package delivered right into our living rooms. There are the freedom fighters and the terrorists, the welfare moms and the corporate robber barons, the politicians and the pickpockets - a rose by any other name? Everything is changing so fast - too fast.
I want to say that this is the most dynamic time the world has ever seen. I want to, but I can’t. It’s not true. The world is no more dynamic now than it’s ever been. The difference is that the world today is a world that I am experiencing first-hand. I’m not reading about it in some history book - I’m living it. In that respect, it is more dynamic - to me. But it’s always been a world in flux. Long before the first human ever set foot on this planet, it has been a dynamic place. Everything changes, nothing is permanent and our individual time here is insignificant to the planet’s history as a whole.
My last post was about Brad Delp, a rock star who died unexpectedly at the age of 55. He was the lead singer for Boston, a band whose music emerged at the same time I came of age. They became superstars and my generation was there right from the beginning. They had it all. Despite an enormous pool of talent, the band was only able to release two albums before the business end of the music business squelched their output for almost a decade. By the time the smoke had cleared - their time was gone. They would never reach the same pinnacle of success they enjoyed for a few fleeting years.
Delp committed suicide. He was the guy who seemingly had it all: A golden voice, fame, fortune and adulation. Yet, apparently something was amiss, something was so painful that he could not go on. He is gone, but his music is still heard. Permanence? I don’t know. What about 1,000 years down the road? 10,000? 100,000? Everything is relative and I suspect that in as little as two generations, Boston will represent little more than a historical footnote. Even the venerable Beatles, who Delp was greatly influenced by, will fade away someday. And so will we.
I didn't know he committed suicide...listening to "Don't look back" on You Tube right now and thinking about your words...Michele sent me this morning.
I had an interesting talk with my doctor this morning about the difference between 'suicide' and 'ceasing to exist'......
I thought it a fine line, but she argued it was a big difference.
But then, however we go when the time of grieving has passed - haven't we just ceased to exist...on the physical plane at any rate......
Michele sent me today. Mike
i am profoundly saddened by brad delp's death. depression has always been a struggle for me and i have so many, many great memories that are scored by the music of boston, of my childhood and youth. what a tragic loss.
michele sent me.
I am thinking....."As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be."
Hearing Brad had died was upsetting and sad, hearing he committed suicide was devastating. Yet...I understand.
Your perspective right now is so wide, I wonder if it would help some to restrain it to a degree. Perhaps it would also help in letting the writing go - sounds like your thoughts are so diverse you're having a hard time nailing down one tackle-able subject matter about which to write on. Good luck with it.
Terribly sad update re: Brad Delp. Maybe it'd help to write a letter addressed to him? Write all the things you would've said had you the opportunity.
Here from Michele's this time.
I had about three other blogs before, but I had to drop them because they took alot out of me, which is why I started the video blog. To be able to give back in hope this crazy world slows down!
Hi, Michele sent me!
Just finished watching Boston perform "More Than a Feeling" on YouTube. RIP Brad Delp!
Michele sent me to say Hi and thank you for your patient voting. Where men lose out (with regard to writer's block) is they normally don't iron. Ironing is often when I am most creative - my brain teeming with words whilst I dash away with the smoothing iron.
Your pictures look very tempting so I'm going to have a look at them
Michele sent me back tonight, Mike.
You echo similar thoughts I've had at various points in my life. I often wonder why I was born with this gift, the ability to conjure words from nowhere, to string them together and move total strangers to think, to act. I often wonder where that spark of creativity comes from, and why the strings of DNA aligned in such a way as to give me the ability to produce something final and worth keeping.
I often wonder about the muse in my head, the inspiration in my soul and the meaning of my life as a writer, a photographer, a husband, a father.
Our influence does indeed fade. But if it inspires those in an immediate and not-so-immediate - maybe a generation out - proximity to try harder to improve the world around them, then perhaps my resource-intensive existence will not have been in vain after all.
I keep telling myself it's the little things that matter. Thanks, Mike, for the brain challenge. I needed it today.
Brad Delp's death was huge news here in Boston, both because he was a 'local boy' and because he committed suicide. Local news pundits felt that his suicide was not unexpected and that he suffered from chronic depression with anxiety and maybe even mania. I don't know, but his death was sad. I am older than you are (hard to believe, huh?) and I remember when Jim Morrison, Jimi Hendrix and Janice Joplin all died. And Brian Jones. Such wasted talent.
Here from Michele
I wonder if we think the world is moving faster because we have access to images and news of so much more of it.
As a child, the world seemed much more calm and peaceful, because we had no TV, didn't pay much attention to the radio and newspaper, and really weren't very aware of what was happening on the other side of the world - I suspect that is as it should be. I don't think humans are really designed to cope with caring about too many people outside our immediate circle.
I don't know anything about Brad Delp, but my sympathies for your current writing struggles.
Michele sent me
I don't know about permenance either Mike...and in fact I must admit that part of me doesn't really care what will be around in 100 years or 1000 or 100,000...I'm not going to know about it anyway....But I do care about right now and the old cliche about nothing stays the same, but then again, many things never change...OY!
I am sorry about Mr. Delp...More and more it seems that more and more people are suffering from clinical depression...What does that say about our world, I wonder...
Here from Michele this early A.M. with no answers either.
Time marvels and confounds, doesn't it? I think about all of those things as well. I think about all the things I'll miss 100 years from now... the music, the clothes, the fads, the entertainment... the amazing singers. The theatre. It makes me want to lurch forward in a time machine just for a peak.
After 20 plus years of questioning and examining the minutia, I'm more satisfied with unaswered questions now. The journey, not the destination, etc.
Michele sent me,
Strangely, your words bring back to me the newer version of the "Time Machine" movie, where in the distant future, a hidden, male hologram librarian in a fragment of a panel, holds all the information left of our defunct civilization.
I believe Artists are more likely to find lasting fame after death in our culture...
Through millinea- no one knows-
PS I hadn't read the comment just above until after I posted my comment!
We all want the time machine...
This was so sad when I heard Mike....It is hard to imagine feeling that hopeless. My heart goes out to his friends and family.
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