08 May 2012

Creation, part one

Creation, part one
or The First Baby-Step into Madness

1. The act of creating. 2. A product of invention or imagination. 3. The world and all things in it. 4. In various religions, the divine act by which the world was created.

1. To cause to exist. 2. To cause, produce.

One that creates

make, form, bring into being, conceive, engender, generate, think up, frame, forge, fashion, fabricate, develop, manufacture, design, contrive, devise, initiate, start, dream up, begin, give birth to, produce, originate, invent, cause, occasion.

That is always step one for me. Definition. What are our words, and what do they mean, and what will happen if we use them in either the right or the wrong way. Not a question, a search.

1. To make a thorough examination of in order to find something; explore. 2. To look into or investigate; probe.

And maybe, for some people, definitions are dry or dull or boring or a waste of time. Why look a word up if you already know what it mean? Right?

But you never really know what a word means. Not now, not after looking it up, not after a lifetime full of using it. The meaning of a word continues to evolve in definition, both the general definition society can agree it has and in the personal definition it has to an individual.

So, back to the beginning. Creation. Create. Creator.

It's a nice word.

We have another word for Creator. We have several, in fact, but this is my favorite: Artist.

1. One who practices any of the fine or performing arts, as painting or music. 2. One whose work shows skill.

I think that definition kind of pretty much sucks, actually. But whatever.

What if we assign to artist the same definition we do to creator. Because that's what really happens, no? We do not like art simply because it is beautiful. Some of the best art in existence is really not very beautiful (as society agrees we should define the word) at all. We like art because we can see in it something new. There is always a kind of purity in creation, even in the creation of something horrible.

I have felt envious, all my life, of the artist. Because all I can do is give cheap representations of the greatness of the masters. My fingers can play Kabelevsky's preludes, can touch the keys of the piano just right so that no notes sound harsh or unrepentant except the notes I want to sound that way, but I could not have written them. I can read aloud the monologues of Lady Macbeth so that her character seems to actually breathe, but I could not have written the poetry that makes them so terrible.

I can show you why art is important, but I can't make it. I can't create it.

The closest I come is with words. Written. Prose. Stories. At my best I can tell a story that can touch emotion and take you, just for a minute, into another version of the world. But nothing I've written yet have I been willing to let out into public, to stand on its own. Not with my name attached. Not with my face. Not where anyone I actually care about could read it and know that I made it. That it belongs to me.

Yet, I was created to create things in return. I feel it deep in my soul, tied to the fibers of whatever makes up my character. Tied to my integrity, my sense of honor. Tied to my ability to love. Tied to whatever it is that separates right from wrong, and tied to whatever mixes the two.

And so I feel driven to search. To explore. To probe existence until I finally find some way that I can create and where the things inside of me can break out of their cocoons and let their tender little wings grow strong enough to fly.

And until that search reaches its destination, I hurt. It brings pain to have all this creative energy inside and have no way to release it. Not fast enough. Not well enough.

All the artists anyone remembers have been a little bit mad. I think I know why.

Love always,

Definitions come from the American Heritage Dictionary, 4th edition.
Synonyms come from the Webster's Pocket American Thesaurus, 2nd edition.

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