Tag: theandreblaze

Write Through.

Writers block, the mischievous spirit that lies in wait for all writers, calmly poised to strike at the moment when they need their creativity the most. I have heard a lot of authors speak about this, but until fairly recently, even though I had experienced it a countless number of times, I had never given thought to the idea that maybe it wasn’t something that only writers experienced.

Do engineers, doctors and the like have moments where they are devoid of the ability to perform their professional tasks? If they do, I haven’t heard of it at all.  So why do writers, often the most painstaking of the creative line, suffer this so much?

In 1990 I fell in love with a peculiar book who’s author’s work inspired and has continued to inspire me since then, and I have dreamed of writing something in honor of the timeless tome of brilliant penmanship.

   In the beginning, I didn’t do this because I was busy, I had to attend school, find my passions, attend more school, find my calling, have a girlfriend, maintain a relationship, with all the attention it demanded, and then there was work, and there has been work for the last 11 years.

Asked a few days ago why I hadn’t written it yet, (just like I have been asked if my long-promised mixtape was ever going to be heard, or just imagined) I blamed writers block for it. Yeah right. For twenty-three years? Balls.

I forgot the most important thing about being a creative person a while ago, and only remembered it recently. If you’re a doctor (dentist, surgeon, pediatrician) your job is to heal, if you’re an engineer (mechanical, electrical, petroleum) your job is to make stuff work.

If you’re a creative (actor, writer, editor, painter, dancer, sculptor, director) your job is to reach into the vacuum of nothing, grab a handful of thin air, and create something from it. I recognize the obstacle that is writers block, I’m not saying it is an excuse or imaginary, I’m saying that gravity was an obstacle too, until someone figured out how to make airplanes.

Dare to be great.

Write Through.

Writers block, the mischievous spirit that lies in wait for all writers, calmly poised to strike at the moment when they need their creativity the most. I have heard a lot of authors speak about this, but until fairly recently, even though I had experienced it a countless number of times, I had never given thought to the idea that maybe it wasn’t something that only writers experienced.

Do engineers, doctors and the like have moments where they are devoid of the ability to perform their professional tasks? If they do, I haven’t heard of it at all.  So why do writers, often the most painstaking of the creative line, suffer this so much?

In 1990 I fell in love with a peculiar book who’s author’s work inspired and has continued to inspire me since then, and I have dreamed of writing something in honor of the timeless tome of brilliant penmanship.

   In the beginning, I didn’t do this because I was busy, I had to attend school, find my passions, attend more school, find my calling, have a girlfriend, maintain a relationship, with all the attention it demanded, and then there was work, and there has been work for the last 11 years.

Asked a few days ago why I hadn’t written it yet, (just like I have been asked if my long-promised mixtape was ever going to be heard, or just imagined) I blamed writers block for it. Yeah right. For twenty-three years? Balls.

I forgot the most important thing about being a creative person a while ago, and only remembered it recently. If you’re a doctor (dentist, surgeon, pediatrician) your job is to heal, if you’re an engineer (mechanical, electrical, petroleum) your job is to make stuff work.

If you’re a creative (actor, writer, editor, painter, dancer, sculptor, director) your job is to reach into the vacuum of nothing, grab a handful of thin air, and create something from it. I recognize the obstacle that is writers block, I’m not saying it is an excuse or imaginary, I’m saying that gravity was an obstacle too, until someone figured out how to make airplanes.

Dare to be great.

Broken. And Okay.

 

You’re broken. Lets start there. Whatever it is that happened or was done tore deep into the core of you and came out on the other side, leaving an emotional wound the size of a canyon on your soul.

 

The memory of it makes you cringe in shame, flare with anger and rage, sober with depression, the thoughts of how different it could all have been are endlessly on your mind, and you wish daily that it were possible to undo it in some magical way.

 

It’s hard to go past certain places, do certain things, meet certain people in the aftermath of what happened, so you don’t. Instead, you’ve tried to create a new world for yourself over the ruins of the old that you can’t seem to get past, and for a while, that has worked. For a while it has seemed perfect.

 

But, you’re broken. And the hurt isn’t going away.

 

Life coaches, religious leaders and motivational speakers will tell you that you must go on, they will inspire you with great ideas about growth, destiny, development and how all that you have gone through is supposed to make you better, teach you more, strengthen your spirit, deepen your wisdom and give you a great perspective on life.  They will point to the future you and tell you how that will be the most beautiful person to encounter after all this is done and the lessons are learned.

 

And of course they are right about how this will refine you and make you better in future. But today, that feels like a long way away. You’re still broken and hurt! Do they not see what you must go through now?

 

I believe in the power of experience to grow all sentient beings in leaps and bounds, and in the necessity of negativity to groom the evolving individual, but I also believe that to a great degree we have misunderstood the concept of courage and strength. It isn’t the absence of fear or other emotions in the spectrum, nor is it the belittling of life’s challenges, it is the little flame that perseveres through the icy blizzards that comes unexpectedly, and comes even when you didn’t deserve it.

 

And that’s okay.

 

 Pretending to be okay, will not make you okay. Letting life happen one day at a time, with the issues that it comes with, with the pain, fear, confusion and more that come in tow, will give you an opinion of your own, one that’s original and earned and trusted and true to you. Live through, let your emotions breathe, and be original. You will be better tomorrow, but today you are broken, and that’s really that’s okay.

Common Denominators.

In a conversation while waiting for a flight today, I heard a unique definition for one of my favorite groups of people ever (Nigerians!). When asked what cultural differences set Nigerians aside from the rest of the world and its people, my friend said: “Nigerians are suffused by the will to survive.” And her colleague, who is European, could see such evidence of that statement in everything that he encountered during his stay in the country that he has taken that as a gospel of sorts, an infallible truth about the country and its people.

 When I heard about their conversation, I was pleased, being Nigerian and liking to think of my nation as being a 160-million supermen trying to conceal their red and blue superhero costumes under the guise of Clark Kent, but as is typical with my mind, given a few hours to stretch between countries, I wondered if that wasn’t true for the whole world.

 Humankind impresses me endlessly. We have come from an era where we thought the constellations were deities (well, most of us have) to interacting with our solar system quite literally, and aggressively challenging the borders of the envelope of once accepted possible reality. Would I be wrong to assume that we achieved that mostly because we bore a restless curiosity, which drove us forward to discover our world and universe?

 There are schools of thought that believe that our curiosity is a functional response to our fear of the unknown, and there are others that believe that our inquisitive nature is really an offshoot of our love for life and the desire and will to live it, I think the two ideas are correct.

 Fear is the understanding that there is something to be lost, and what is acknowledged as a loss which does not possess value? I love my country, through her ups and downs and heartbreaks and triumphs, but I think that while the passionate will to live is easily seen in the Nigerian people, who have such gargantuan obstacles to surmount daily, it is something which is clearly visible in all of mankind, why else would we try so hard every day to be better?

  It would seem as though we are coming in for landing and thus time to shut down all electronic devices. Fight the good fight, celebrate all victories great and small, and don’t be afraid to make a mistake or two. Peace.

You, The Change.

“Once upon a time.”

With those words have begun many alternatives to the reality we inevitably return to after the story those words start, comes to an end. Sometimes though, it’s hard to do that; return. I read a lot of fiction growing up, and I loved it, every story was a different doorway into a different world for me, from trying to decipher the meanings of the strangely spelled words in the less popular story (in comparison to Tom Sawyer) of Huckleberry Finn through the sci-fi classics of Isaac Asimov & Robert Heinlein, to perhaps the most poignant mind of them all; Stephen King and everything he has ever written. And everybody who has escaped into a book knows how ugly real life seemss afterwards, especially because there doesn’t seem a narrative that assures a happy end perhaps.

Quite often I’m faced with situations in life where I want to bury my face and forget, or un-know the things I know. The images that pass through your line of vision while you carry on your life in the time we share on this earth, are not the stuff of the lovable stories you read in books or viewed on TV when you were growing up, are they? I want to NOT see what is wrong, even though I know that will only be me lying to myself. The truth? It is what it is. But I also know that just because a thing is a certain way, doesn’t mean it must continue in that vein. I don’t believe in a single act changing the world, I however deeply respect and agree with the concept of a million drops forming an ocean. One whose waves will rise and rise and wash away all that is wrong, and leave bare the slate for a new version of history.

So, once upon a time there was an ugly, mean, dismal, sad place called Earth/Living/Life, and then one day, You/I/We did something good, and it all began to change. If you like the story so much, why not make it reality?

Shooting Star

image

When you’re done wishing on a shooting star, that ‘star’ doesn’t change its trajectory and take your wish back to heaven for a speedy response, it continues its course steadfastly, burning a great deal of its mass as it continues. Sometimes it makes impact with the earth at less than a tenth of its original size, and at other timeswish doesn’t manage that at all because it burns out completely in the air due to friction against the atmosphere in our planet.

Why is this important? Well, because we wish on shooting stars a lot in real life, and they are not always mysterious celestial bodies travelling brightly through the night sky (at least not in the original sense of that phrase) but the truth is that when we are done wishing we were those fancy peopl. (yes, as much as I hate the word; those ‘stars’) living the lives that we think are perfect and so eagerly wish were ours, they continue their own life-trajectory, complete with experiences that burn their original mass down to a tenth of what it was at inception, and sometimes, if their resilient mass was too small to begin with, the experience of flight burns them out completely, till there’s nothing left.

My elementary understanding of Physics leads me to understand that all motion involves friction at some level, and friction is interaction with the environment which in our human lives, would be the experiences that we garner while dealing with other people, the things we hear, see, touch, taste, think, smell which shape us. So the question is; how much of you would be left if you were that shooting star you so eagerly wish to be like or wish upon?