There is something to be said about a crawling sadness that comes out of nowhere. Perhaps it was led to you from a muse or maybe from something else entirely … but it exists and it pays a visit from time to time. Most artists grab on to this, and begin to make something out of it that is more of beauty than of ugliness—it transforms into a butterfly of many shades and begins to grow—we watch it then fly away and wish it only the best.
It’s no secret that hints of sadness seep into my poems and other works. I think that’s how I grow as an author; I take something so ugly and so foul and transmogrify it into this breathtaking journey … What else would I do with it?
I’ve known people to mourn heavily o’er thoughts or feelings that they should have let go a long time ago. It’s in those snippets of observation I begin to ask myself if it’s worth even visiting. As a creator of fiction, I have to lie. I have to take the mundane and make it electrifying and mesmerizing and in that effort, I first find the ugliest of the ugly.
I dig deep down into myself and rip out those very deep roots because it’s within those roots that I can know such pain.
Recently I have been learning about an analogy that depicts a sycamine tree as used through Luke 17:6 and we take the sycamine tree and we have to completely uproot it from our souls. We can’t toss it on garbage because it can regrow its roots, and we want this thing to finally die! This tree is mortifying; we certainly don’t want a thing to do with its bitterness any further. It is pollinated by wasps. Of course we don’t want to be stung, right? Its wood was used for coffins … death! Its fruit was so bitter to taste, so sour that you had to take small nibbles of it to even bother. So. We take this sycamine tree and instead of just tossing it into the garbage; we completely uproot it and throw it into the salt water of the sea where finally this bitter thing dies!
As an author, when I sit down to pour out my soul, I am taking the roots from deep within and ripping them out and then I am casting it to the sea one written letter at a time.
Analogy is fun; we can construct a mental vision to each process that makes the most sense to us.
I have people that ask me how I stay so positive through all of the negative things that try to impact me. Recently for example; someone from a group I volunteer my time to had gone behind my back (and of others as well) and had cross, unkind words. Her bitterness was astounding, and through this realization, I came to understand that she had as well used me.
Normally, this would have caused me to become extremely upset. There’s nothing worse than someone you trust backstabbing you while you don’t even know it. What I have instead done was I decided to take that situation and throw all of that into a piece of work I am dedicating my energy to.
I chose to leave no room for this force of arrogance and darkness to seep in and drown me. The trick to overcoming these obstacles really is looking beyond them and working past them productively.
Of course it tasted as bitter as the sycamine fruit and the sting is just as strong, but you must ask yourself this … If you decide to linger on that situation and let it build up, it’s going to become something much larger and much more powerful and it will become harder to escape. Do you choose to feel the burn from that flame or do you choose to keep going? Of course not … You would much prefer to learn from that situation and move forward.
In moving forward; my method is to visualize the overall situation, and then I take a pen and I begin to write the words down which explain it. Soon, a pool of mixed emotion will exist in a notepad, and I take from this some string and I sew together what becomes that beautiful butterfly I mentioned at the beginning of this post.
This is my way of throwing that rotten tree of casket wood far into the salted sea …
What works for you?