Time to save the world
Where in the world is all the time
So many things I still don’t know
So many times I’ve changed my mind
Guess I was born to make mistakes
But I ain’t scared to take the weight
So when I stumble off the path
I know my heart will guide me back
– Erykah Badu in “Didn’t Cha Know”
All those to whom I owe words will not understand what writer’s block really means. Well, I guess for most people it’s the stereotypical notion of someone sitting at a typewriter, typing his heart out and crumpling paper after paper of stuff he dismisses as ‘drivel’. Maybe it is. Most probably it is. But for me writer’s block has always meant more than that. I feel like it’s a symptom of being mentally bloated. It’s not that the words themselves are not present in your mind, more like there’s too many words in your mind. Imagine being a person in the ocean and not having a compass with you and being unable to navigate using the stars. That’s what it feels like. You are in an ocean of words, not on a Titanic-esque cruise ship but on a raft and a shitty one at that. The possessions aboard are sparse and all you’ve got is your mind. But all you can think about is how you don’t want to fall overboard because you’re scared the sharks will eat you; or worse, if you fall overboard imagine drowning here in the middle of nowhere with nobody to find your decaying corpse. You’ll drown and THEN the sharks will eat you. Either way, the sharks will eat you. It may be that you capsize during the night and find yourself at Poseidon’s mercy or else you’ll die of dehydration. Now imagine you’re thinking about all these things and you’re still trying to navigate your way home. See how it feels?
Never complain that you haven’t been given things to say.
One day the world will destroy itself, and you will drown in the words you didn’t think you had.
If you ever wake up and your voice doesn’t sound like your own, the only thing left to do, is scream.
You just wake up and say, “Today I will write the most beautiful thing I’ve ever written.”
Then you fail and go to bed.
Then you wake up and say it again.
Off the cuff: You know, sometimes I get the feeling that this whole hippy, neo-liberal “Let’s eschew wealth and materialism” thing is just an indirect way of glorifying poverty. I have known poor people in my life, many, many, many… And not once has a child who grew up in the shacks with mostly the prospect of bread and water ever had an inkling that someone, somewhere with a trustfund (and/or some other form of passive income) sees his sitaution as something to ‘aspire to’ (for lack of better phrasing). How can you then explain to him that materialism is wrong when he has never had the option to eschew it, since he’s been locked in a play in which he never chose to be an actor?
I’m not decrying the ways of the world, the rampant capitalism, advertising and selling of dreams… I’m just saying the way of the hippy is a hidden narrative, because few and far between are actually poor but they choose the lifestyle as a sort of ironic, time-based, thought-safari. All the while the trustfund appreciates and the (pretend) ‘poverty’ can later be abandoned when the individual is sick of it.
And it is in this way that the poor are unconsciously made fun of every day and their poverty is thrown back in their faces as some sort of mystical trip one can take and come back from. Where one can learn humility for the mansions and the trips abroad, having ‘roughed it’ for a while. Whereas in reality, for the majority it’s not a trip. It’s not a process of self-healing or growth. It’s not a thought experiment. It’s life. And they definitely wouldn’t want to hear that it’s wrong to chase materialism or create wealth for themselves…
When people speak about art they’re usually referring to creative cross-pollination. For, I’ve always been of the mindset that one person’s work, one person’s seeming mastery of his craft can lead others to creativity. Think of it like constantly being on a raft and although at times you may encounter the white-water rapids – that is to say, those organic bursts of creativity which just come out of nowhere to catalyse you into action – another person’s work is like the waterfall that drives you over the edge of the artistic horizon. Once that happens you also want to make something that flows from the genuine deep-down depths of your soul. And this is why I’m writing this.
I’ve literally had the same song on repeat for the past two hours. The funny thing is, I’ve never told anyone about my habit. It’s sort of like I know what gets me into ‘the zone’ but the right conditions seldom happen. Today however, I went onto my homie’s Soundcloud since I usually enjoy the jams he plays during his DJ sets and I went through his favourite tracks and then I found it. I found ‘it’! The track that will send me into my zone for a good two weeks or so, just by steadily putting it on repeat.
I’ve described such music to my friends and family before but I don’t think they hear me. I don’t think they really understand what I’m talking about. Although there will never be a bass synth or drum pattern which boom-baps like my own heart, sometimes there’s a song that just touches all the right spots, at all the right times. It’s like a vat of warm water is being poured into every single nook and crevice of your mind, filling the void like nothing else. I call them “songs you can think to.” I won’t lie and say that it’s just the song itself which has got me “wil’in” as they say. Other things are at play too.