May 4, 2016

On Creativity and Screwyness

I've been thinking lately about the phenomenon of creativity. If you are a creative person, you tend to live in the world of possibility. If you're like me, you think of scenarios all the time, involving imaginary or real people in your life. You also tend to ruminate; to go back and re-process things that have happened, trying to interpret or pull further implications from it and speculate on various symbolisms and possibilities and "what ifs."

Creativity has traditionally been linked to... let's face it. A lack of sanity.
I've worried about this myself. I've had a lot of people in my life--beloved figures of example--who were brilliant, and really struggling. One example that immediately comes to mind is a man who was great friends with our family. He sang with my dad often. Had a beautiful, fervent, inspiring voice... he sang, you listened. He could have made a big audience for himself with his voice, but never could quite get it together emotionally. He really struggled, and ended up taking his own life just a few years ago.

Maybe that's why so few people make it big artistically. You've got to have the combination--the brilliance AND the executive functioning.

It makes me wonder how many truly brilliant, inspiring people have been unable to reach the wide audience their skills deserved. I mean, this guy I"m talking about... the world would only have been better if more people could have been inspired by him. He certainly changed my life, and the lives of all he touched. I wish, I wish, more people could have been changed by him.

I think of people like Vincent Van Gogh, who was famously unstable, but so talented he broke through anyway. And we all benefit from his inspiration today. I think of Sylvia Plath, who wrote such catchy, beautiful, arresting words, and ended up a victim of her own brilliant mind.

I'm not anywhere close to as talented as these people I mention. And the mental burden I carry is also quite a bit lighter. But, let's face it... I'm still screwy.

Living in the not-real-world most of the time has consequences. You forget things you should remember. All the time. I have such a poor memory of my childhood, of events that occurred even three years ago. Often the best way for me to remember things is through writing about them--my creative talent--but when I'm not writing about them they are fuzzy, hazy, hard-to-grasp images, my memories.

IN real time, I live in a pretty fuzzy world, too. I'm made aware of this often... I drive very very cautiously because often if I don't, I get in trouble. Over-cautiousness is my defense against my own lack of connection to my surroundings. And still I fail occasionally.

Buildings that have stood on my daily routes suddenly bloom up into being on occasion... I realize, suddenly, that they're there. I didn't notice them before that. Conversations I have with people suddenly click with me days later... I realize what someone meant when they said such-and-such, and what they wanted from me. This can lead to interpersonal difficulties.

For crying out loud, I am, in fact, a bit screwy.

I struggled a lot as a teenager because lack of connection to surroundings, in real time, can lead to social problems. I had a few, forgiving, close friends, but mostly I was frightened of social interaction because I was constantly afraid I would offend people accidentally by responding in a way that didn't make sense to them, because i'd gotten the conversation wrong, or mistook a meaning. The other day in Relief Society, I misunderstood completely the instructor's question and puzzled her; when I responded that I'd mistaken her question, she took it for correction. Oh, this is my life.

I think this is why I make friends slowly. They have to put up with non-sequiturs, fuzzy logic, misunderstanding and eventually learn that I do have good intentions. I really treasure those relationships where this has come to pass.

I often feel that I"m navigating a river full of rapids, with everything around me slightly dimmed--noise, sense of touch, sight... I see through a bit of a dark glass. I'm very, very grateful for those who are willing to look past that and love me for who I mean to be.

Anyway. Creativity and screwyness. It's a thing. I would never give up my heart--writing, stories, memories, thoughts that branch out in crazy directions and connections that make me happy. But it does make life dangerous at times.

Anyway. This is a shout out to those of you who don't fully live in real-time, in the real-world--I feel you, my screwy brothas and sistas.