Thursday, February 25, 2016

The Way To Metaphor

The Way To Metaphor


No, not that usual thing you do, when you drift into some kind of fantasy world.

Imagine something so different that the world cracks apart, and all the rules of perception break into fragments.

Let go, let go ...
"I used to think that writing was something like the ocean, an ebb and flow of emotions, drifting in and out of my consciousness. Only later did I realise it was more the crooked, sharp rocks and coral underfoot."
When the heart slips, you're almost there. When your breath catches in your throat and you feel like you're drowning in the dry air, you're almost there.
"Some days, it's a little like dying, I think. The words that crash from my fingers seem almost alien, as if it's not me writing at all."
Everything comes to a sudden stop. The sensation is brutal. Suddenly, your life becomes so brittle that you feel that even a sudden turn of the head would shatter everything about you.
"So often it's like being swallowed by a black void. There is no light, no hustle and bustle of everyday life. Nothing, nothing at all, except for what I can create. Yes, I create the light, the colours, the people, the ongoing fabric of life. And I do it because I can't allow the utter darkness to continue. Where the world ends is no place at all, so I fill in the void, all the way to the margins."
The emptiness is the monster that you must defeat. Anything less, and you'll slip back into conformity, the easy world you understand, the world of common occurrence, so simple and so placidly familiar.
"The temptation to retreat from the unknown is always there. That is why so much writing fails. Without the deepest bravery, no one finds that unexpected miracle of discovering how to fill the void of empty space. It's Genesis revisited, and it's that discovery that matters most. What was dark and blank just moments before suddenly becomes an uncontrollable flood of images — landscapes, characters, emotions, and most importantly lies. Yes, lies, fabrications. So many writers believe that they are on some kind of quest for truth, but there is no mysterious truth for which to search. The imaginative world is a world of one's own making, a facade of illusions, sometimes beautiful and sometimes absolutely horrifying. Every imagined piece of the puzzle is neither true or false until someone reads the words and uncovers the lie. Once the reader sees the lie, he or she knows the truth. It's this subtle reversal that becomes an epiphany and changes everything."
There is something dangerous in emptiness. A world of nothingness is fearful beyond any other atrocity known to humankind. It is like torture without pain, because you can feel only the anticipation of what may come or may not come. You wait. You wait.
"When fear overcomes the creative hope, then the writer retreats to convention. The writing becomes mimicry of things one has read, seen or experienced before. The black hole, the utter blankness, fills with plagiarised constructs, familiar words practiced over and over again. The truth is that the imagination has failed to create, and memory overruns the moment. The writer begins reconstructing old tales, prior joys and wounds, all the while filling the void with maudlin sentimentality."
If the moment allows, you will find inspiration. So much depends on your willingness to remain open, like a conduit through which passes unknown sensations, sometimes too vague to comprehend, sometimes almost so absurd that you doubt whether what you are writing makes any sense at all.
"No sooner does the air fill with the fresh scent of something new and unexpected, than the moment is over. The power of creation passes as quickly as it begins. I have often felt cheated by the collapsing finality of writing. The garden, which was mine to tend, blooms into a kind of rapture, before spiraling into nothingness again. I am so often left spent and exhausted, almost saddened by the last word, the ending that casts me out from the garden and closes the gate behind me. I realise, then, that there is no assurance I will ever find the way to metaphor again."



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