Phantasms – Creating Characters

30 minutes sept 26, 2014
5:41 pm-6:14pm

When I come home to write, I can imagine words shaping themselves into ellipses and spiraling out of the air into my mind, and I, transcribing wildly, might glean some truthful version of the events of the day, the mundane observation mixed with truth of unsettling detail. The soul of the situations all spread out onto the operating table.

(I wanted to keep my sanity and write with method and patience and adequate timing, etc. Earlier, I avoided my free-write and have been a cloud ever since. No solid ground on which to stand. A downed bridge in heavy fog and the drivers are suspended through the crisp air above the ravine before plummeting.)

Mind wanders too far and it doesn’t seem to know how to complete a thought to place in the head of a fictional character. Hear the muddled advice of a number of authors say, “Every character you create is yourself, an extension of your own fears, desires, joys. These exaggerations are not lies, and bending through your internal vocabulary is a psychological attempt to make sense of the harder-to-cope-with parts of your personality. Through exaggeration, that time you overreacted to the spilled cup of coffee can be taken apart and examined as a fossil found washed ashore on some rocky beach… then, with horror, you find it to match with exactitude your selfsame DNA. You are the author and you are your characters. You have the power to resolve conflicts within yourself through them.”

I have tried to begin a sentence four or five times now and erased every word of it. This is not a free write. This is a sabotage of the creativity because of how self analytic it is. Of course I need inspiration to create the characters through which I can work through my paralyzing guilts and paranoid prosecution anxiety, where the characters are fucking real but heroic and never crack under the pressure that washes over me like a placid little flower being drowned in a heavy rain. Regret does not exist in the created world. Only in the terrible, depraved world of the creator, who creates nothing focused enough to share. Nothing nothing nothing. No combination of words from the ether can be shared reasonably or published or even re-read by me!

Negativity die. Give yourself some astrological free will advice to warm up the cooling embers of your heart, the tight ropes wound round the lungs and the curve of the spine as it is swallowed up by the orange chair, the apples on the table, the digging I can do, the excavating of stories, the wonderful images and beginnings, the mountain erased by clouds, the packs of roving imbeciles on a campus that fuels me with a kind of sardonic fear of emulsion, yet the cynicism is louder and yells longer than their voices…so many, many, many. So terrible too. Their faults numerous in their acceptance of the status quo as a way to exist so happily in bliss and with god and the ministers of peace and justice are always self-proclaimed and never secretly gifting strangers the elected spirit of a positive mindset at random, with strings and syringes, in red brick public squares, illuminated by a cross breed mutt architecture and the green distances all, all, all directions.

You are amazing, fantastic, great at knowing how to live. Creativity pours out of your eyes like tears of zeus. or lightning bolts out of thunderstorms caused by volcano eruptions. Yes! There are problems in the machinery. Your depression nearly laid you flat before you took a bus downtown to climb a 40 story building and investigate the public library. You wanted to sleep and in a dark place, it is understandable. You wished for an out at that point. A pill to swallow to paste a collage of smiling advertising faces on your self. No, no. What helped this time was velocity. Getting on that god damn bus. Looking out the god damn window at quickly passing sights and lives. Then wandering aimless through the downtown cluster of shining, majestic buildings, newer and fresher than Amsterdam canal water. See the sea down the hills while walking along 5th or 3rd. Dream of pods of orca whales. Becoming one of them, or building one in the laboratory, and procreating to save the species. Helping them avoid quiet ferries among the loud motor boats.

Velocity always seems to help. Drinking in a dark room as photographs of newly inputted memories are suddenly blotted out by a carelessly, mechanically cleaning bartender.. “oops, were these yours? sorry about that. another double?” and then drinking it down and feeling the world pass by with ambition and purpose as your bar tab rises and your depression surrounds your body like a snake skin too heavy for the poor little snake to shake off no matter how much writhing and rustling in the overgrowth, the undergrowth of forested lanes.

This blockage is nothing! It truly is not a blockage! You’re borderline personality disorder. Anxiety is one voice. Contentedness is a student who never raises his hand. Creativity is drunk and boisterous, yet always in the mornings finds himself a false promiser. Ambition is a kid who wants to be an astronaut but doesn’t want to do math, just wants to look at the stars. Happiness is a white tiger in a darkening twilight snowdrift, bear in a cave, hibernating. Sadness is an atmosphere.

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