Years ago, while rifling through old National Geographic magazines, I came across a quote I later cut out and used in a collage: “…if I get scared, I cannot write, and if I write, I am not scared.”
That still resonates with me today, but another dimension is resurfacing for the first time since childhood — if I cannot write, I will draw.
My drawing ability is at best mediocre, but just as with writing, the process can be more divine than the end result. My need to draw germinates slowly. It bloomed the other night, and I spent the evening hours eschewing words for graphite pencils and poorly pressed leaves. I forgot my fear, but when I was done it came back.
Fear has saturated the past few days with unwanted bitterness. I have stories I want to spin into being, but all the words I write crawl along the page before sputtering out into half-mast maybes.
I suppose that is the one thing that’s changed: I am always scared when I’m writing now. It’s a troubling realization, a new reality I’ll have to reckon with. It’s now an indelible part of the grand package called my existence. (Another question: who packaged existence in the first place?) Yet whether it’s a single sentence or an artwork four hours in the making, creation is creation, and I think there must always be a little fear in creation. Too much fear clogs inspiration. Like with most things in life, it’s all in how you balance it.
May we all find a sufficient balance.
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