S**T UR PANTS

September 7, 2017

 

One of the best pieces of advice a friend has given me was: "it's better to s**t your pants than die from constipation."

I almost want to leave the post like that; there's something pure in its crass simplicity. It's also what I tell myself when I write three words on a page, and then delete them furtively.

 

Something I ask myself is how I can feel shame about self-expression. How is that possible? What am I trying to prove on the page? What standards of expression am I holding myself to that I can decide not to write, out of fear of being... clumsy? I know Wyatt and I have both felt disgusted with our writing at points -- it's too obvious, too obscene, too obscure, too too... And that was in the privacy of an empty house. As if the words themselves were a chorus of derision. "How could you write me? I'm pathetic! I should be magnificent and poetic! I should sweep you off your chair with all the grace of the grey heron at sunrise!" That's what causes the constipation, you see, the fear of that shaming voice. I believe it's our ego, nitpicking away at how the words, or painting, or picture, fail to represent its greatness. It's a dissonance between how we see ourselves, and the reality of trying to create something that penetrates that adamantine armour we all bear, as protection against the onslaught of life.

 

Whatever you express, it's inevitably going to be s**t at first blush. But it's the start of the creation, the first, foundational, faecal step. You have just laid down the prima materia that can now be transformed. The s**t is what you work with, what you mould and refine and purify in the alchemical process that is artistic creation, until you have released something that carries with it an essence of life -- the best art always feels alive. So go on. You should be bricking yourself. Creating is scary. Feel the fear in your bowels and give yourself something to work with.

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