Tuesday, November 6, 2012

“I do not believe this darkness will endure.” ― J.R.R. Tolkien

“I sit beside the fire and think 
Of all that I have seen
Of meadow flowers and butterflies
In summers that have been

Of yellow leaves and gossamer
In autumns that there were
With morning mist and silver sun
And wind upon my hair

I sit beside the fire and think
Of how the world will be
When winter comes without a spring
That I shall ever see

For still there are so many things
That I have never seen
In every wood in every spring
There is a different green

I sit beside the fire and think
Of people long ago
And people that will see a world
That I shall never know

But all the while I sit and think
Of times there were before
I listen for returning feet
And voices at the door”
                                        ― J.R.R. Tolkien

I have been neglecting my writing lately. The reason, I'll admit, is because of a small addiction to the TV show Greys Anatomy.

I know.

It has been a growing year. It was, perhaps, the hardest summer of my life. Both because of health reasons and because of hardships I journeyed through with dear friends. It felt void of joy in many ways. Very slate grey in color. And I felt very alone in it all. spiraling down at times, into an unknown depth.  I am not good at emotions. I never have been, which is why at a fairly young age I basically decided against them. They are not reliable, they create chaos and uncertainty and make life far more complicated then it needs to be.  I have always liked being in control of myself, and even when I would deal with hormanal changes while pregnant I was always ok, knowing that it would come to an end. That I would go back to being human as soon as the 9 months were over. But this summer it was a different feeling, not knowing where the emotions were coming from, where they would take me, when they would surface and whether or not I would survive - or at least whether I would scar my children and possibly have no husband and friends at the end of it.

Ok, perhaps I am being a tad dramatic here. But that was the depth to which I felt (real or no), and didn't know how to control.

I decided to watch G. Anatomy on a whim, it was on Netflix and I had reached the end of 'How I Met Your Mother' and needed a new laundry show.

I don't like chick-flick type movies/shows. Never have. I have often said the reason is because I get angry at what I know boils down to a room full of writers that are trying hard to manipulate their audience' emotions. So I rebel and talk about how stupid it is and how no one would ever really act like that.

However, I have always liked Holocaust movies. Ok, let me clarify, not like LIKE, but they move me. Way more then any fictional romance. Because that emotion, that pain was REAL. There is nothing that could be added theatrically that could make it more stirring, more gut wrenching. It is ok to cry about it, because it really happened.

I have a weird connection to the TV show M*A*S*H. I really really like it. I am not a fan of the war setting, I don't find the characters attractive, I even dislike lots of their personalities. But there is something about it that is real. I find, when watching a show like that, that I can funnel into it some of my frustration at humanity and the unfairness of life, death, pain and separation.

I discovered I could do the same with GA, and during a summer where I felt underwater and drowning a good amount of the time - it was therapeutic. I didn't like it for the characters or the love triangles or the meaningless misunderstandings.  Honestly, I loved the stories of the patients in the show and the dynamic it brought to the doctors caring for them. I loved the relationships and the spiritually behind dealing with life and death everyday. I would say it made me want to go into the medical field...but that is not how my brain works. No, it made me want to study the medical field and then play a character that is medically involved in some performance somewhere.

 It made me want to paint a picture, create art that portrays the fragility of life in a way that makes people breathless. You see, I am an artist wanna-be. I hate painting. I can't play music. At this point in my life I don't have the time to perform...writing is my only outlet. But I have to be careful - because, you see, when I watch a show like that my outlet goes there. And it is like a band-aid. When I watch other people's created drama, regardless of whether it is based on a true story...I feel the art slipping away. It is like a science experiment we would do as a child. Take a bowl of cold, clear water. Put into it a sealed bag of warm colored water, but poke a hole in the side of the bag. Then just sit and watch as the colored water ribbons out. Does that make sense?

I have always been very aware of what is good for my creative brain and what is not. Harry Potter was good for my brain, Hunger Games was not. Outside is good for my brain, screaming babies are not. Coffee is good for my brain, a bag full of Halloween candy is not. Disney Music is good, going to the pet store is not.  It doesn't always make sense logically what is good and what is not, but I always know.

I have always been influenced by the books I read. For instance, when I read Brian Jacques books I am hungry all the time because he is so good at describing feasts. I read LM Montgomery and want to wear dresses and run in grassy fields. I read David Eddings and become quick witted and sarcastic.

I have never really been influenced by the TV shows I watch (excepting MASH). Movies either, perhaps it is because I grew up in Los Angeles, or because I have been in to many plays. I know a little too much of what it takes to produce those shows. It isn't one or two people feeling compelled by their imaginary friends (for lack of a better term) to write them down and set them free. It is teams of writers, actors, lighting, sets, costumes...all too complicated and planned. I watch as a critic, I see a stumble and wonder if that was scripted or just left in because the editors were tired and ready to go home for the night. I disagree with comic timing or blocking or camera angels and get frustrated that it could have been done better. I see all of those things when I watch a movie or a show...whereas books are simply my friends.
GA was good for my emotional stability, but it was not good for my creative brain. It leeched out the confusion and frustration at life and death. But it left me rather empty. I got lost in it to easily. I connected to deeply. I cried more while watching that show then all other shows in my entire life of watching shows and movies put together. I didn't write. I tried. I failed. It didn't work, the words were no there. Even this is feeling rather forced. But it is good to get back on the horse.

My imaginary friends have been silent lately, sleeping. In a way it is kind of nice to have a break. But as the weather finally starts to get cold. My hard summer is gone and behind me, I am fully medicated and back under at least partial emotional control. I have worked to re-establish some of the relationships I neglected over the past few months...it is time to wake them up. It is time to plug the hole in the bag and open the top so that life can again become permeated with color.

It is time to laugh...it feels like a long time since I have laughed, REALLY laughed. It is time to find the joy, and not the sorrow. It is time to break free and run in the rain.

I have never really looked up Tolkien quotes before. Which surprises me. But I did today and I am over-joyed at what I have found. So to end today I will give you several words of wisdom and/or advice.

One feels very close to my creative heart.
We have come from God, and inevitably the myths woven by us, though they contain error, will also reflect a splintered fragment of the true light, the eternal truth that is with God. Indeed only by myth-making, only by becoming 'sub-creator' and inventing stories, can Man aspire to the state of perfection that he knew before the Fall. Our myths may be misguided, but they steer however shakily towards the true harbour, while materialistic 'progress' leads only to a yawning abyss and the Iron Crown of the power of evil.”
                                                  ― J.R.R. Tolkien

The second is just good advice!

 “Never laugh at live dragons.”
                                                   ― J.R.R. Tolkien

And the third? Well, take this as you may. But know for sure that I mean every word.
“I warn you, if you bore me, I shall take my revenge.”
                                                     ― J.R.R. Tolkien


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