- Thursday, November 18, 2010

"Do you know why I'd rather be boring than create?" she asked me.

I looked away and stared hard into the sky. Why? I asked, half not wanting to hear her answer.

"Because creating takes a toll on me." She looked away and stared into the distance.

I didn't speak. In fact, none of us spoke. It was as if we both agreed to let that sentence sink deep down into our heads and hearts.

But the silence was deafening. Somehow she expected me to say something. Something, anything, so that the tension, the pressure that's beating against her chest could be tamed. But nothing was all I could do.

Taking a sip of coffee and mustering more courage, she looked down, as if ashamed by what she was about to say. Her heart was racing fast. She could hear her heartbeat as if she placed her ears on her racing heart.

"When I create, I take on all the experiences I've gone through, especially the painful ones. The ones that I hate, detest, loathe at whenever I think of them. And I hate the fact that I need to revisit all these haunting ghosts of yesterdays I wish every single day I didn't have. Then these stories, these characters, figments of my fragmented self don't need to exist.

"And it's as if I willingly willed them to live just to satisfy this need to create. If creating is so painful, if that's what it means to be creative, then I'd rather not create. I'd rather be boring. I'd rather not live."

I looked at her. A tear rolled down her left eye. What could I say to ease her pain? Nothing, because it's her experience. And no words can even soothe the scars on her heart. If I could...

"When I look at my hands after creating a short story, I see those red marks, those scars, those hurts that shouldn't have been there because I didn't deserve them." She said, her voice breaking. She could've stopped and finished her coffee. We could leave and go for a happy comedy movie, but no -- she continued. Somehow, it's as if she knew that she had to get the screaming words and emotions out of her system before they consumed her.

She continued, "I was only a child. Does a child deserve misery? Who wills that onto a child? Who wants to see a child with a broken smile? It's not fair. Not fair at all that people get to enjoy the result of a lonely person's pain. It's not fair that I have to be the one experiencing it every day, facing it alone every single day without anyone understanding the depth of pain it encompasses. How -- how can anyone understand me? How can anyone, even the most empathetic one, comprehend that sorrow I bear inside me? I'm like a well overflowing with sorrow and pain -- and people get to enjoy the product of a torturous activity -- creating."


An hour passed by. Just like that.

None of us spoke, leaving the words she said hanging in the air. But this time, the silence wasn't deafening at all. Funnily, it felt as if we wanted the silence to be the music of the hour, to fill our ears with it and nothing else as we stared into the distant and ponder on what she had so transparently said.

Does creating really bring that much pain? Only the ones truly creating will know. But it's known that the ones who suffer the most create the most beautiful things we now refer to as art. But really, is pain really necessary? Is ugliness really important in the process of creating something worth appreciating?

Then breaking the silence, she finished her cup of coffee and said, "Maybe that's how I know I'm alive. Being able to breathe, to feel, to touch, to see the beauty in ways people don't. Maybe that's why it's easier for me to create something beautiful, because I know what is ugly, what is loathsome. While I'd rather be boring and conventional, I can't bear the thought of not creating even though the pain of creating sometimes challenges my threshold of pain.

"Maybe I want to live more than to be boring. Maybe I want to live my life knowing that I have created some beautiful instead of just basking in my sorrows. Maybe I want to believe in colors instead of just black and white. Maybe that way, the world can be a better, more beautiful place.

"Maybe that's why we need the process of creating; we just can't stand being bland."


Crystal said...

Love this - very evocative, thoughtful, emotive piece... :) I do find that it's easier to be inspired to write stuff when I'm all emo and life is challenging... I wonder why that's so... when everything's all fine there's not much inspiration or urge to create...

realhumangirl said...

I went through a period of thinking like that too; that not creating was better than creating. "I'd rather be at peace," I thought. No voices, no noise. But then I found that I missed them.