waiting for this suspended chord to resolve
by pieces of moments
I’ve been going through one of those wholly uncomfortable, awkward, periods of creative frustration. As someone who feels emotions very strongly through the cells of my body, this means it – quite literally – feels like some kind of terrible, deep, muscle knot inside that I am powerless to relieve until the creative outlet appears. I make more frequent contracting physical motions. I can’t sleep.
It’s at these times when I look around at beautiful, insanely creative, women like St. Vincent (Annie Clark), Karen O, Björk, Zadie Smith, Kara Walker, and Anna Karina (or a list of others), and feel about as awesome as a common dishtowel on a whole lot of levels.
Often the malaise is predicated by tell-tale signs. In the past I would be struck instantly and out of the blue by an uncontrollable urge to cut my hair. So, in the past if you saw me with a very short pixie cut…it probably was a result of some creative upheaval just beginning to rumble. The other day I had an uncontrollable urge to wear red lipstick whilst listening to the Shostakovich Symphony No. 14, as if the music would actually sound different if I didn’t properly adorn myself. One time a couple of years ago it resulted in my Best Hair Ever – an asymmetrical bob with a bright green patch that faded from right to left on the nape of my neck. These are my solutions because I’m introverted. My guess is Beethoven’s version was the constant traipsing about the village shouting and muttering to himself. I’m not brave enough for that kind of action. I wish I was. Must be at least entertaining to act so bizarre in public, and in that way liberatingly self-distracting.
My old roommate in Cambridge, an intensely creative individual herself, and I were discussing this during some previous incarnation of this state of being. She had a brilliant insight that as both mentally and physically taxing it is to hit these patches, it also signals growth. I guess it’s kind of like the stage where the germination has sprouted, but has to have the strength to push through the soil to the light above.
By the way, I’m not writing this to whine about it – I am specifically Not A Whiner, though it is terribly disquieting to feel this way. Really, I’m more interested in expressing that phenomenologically (for better or for worse kicking my “never let them see you sweat” manifesto to the carpet), this is how it manifests to me.