Tortured artists

Even reading through the title of this post was a bit difficult. And reading is something I usually love doing. There is a reason some phrases are clichés, and this one resonates strongly with me. When I am struggling, depression piling on and pulling me deeper under the surface, the emotions sometimes form into poetry or songs that express the pain. How to consistently use this process to help me slowly climb out of the darkness is another matter, and one which is often elusive.

When we feel the inkling of motivation to create something, sometimes it’s difficult to figure out what we want to create. I know I enjoy writing stories, writing songs and poetry, unfurling adventures while playing D&D, and creating meaningful connections with people I am with. Yet I struggle to fully present myself to these moments.

Well, is mean, most of the time I love doing these things. But creation doesn’t always go to plan.

When I have a weekend like the one just passed, thinking becomes blurry and I have to fight my own mind constantly to do even the simplest of tasks. For many people something like buying new sports shoes involves making the decision to do it, and then going and doing it. For me, it involves a lot of overthinking: Which store? What type of shoes? Do I have to talk to an attendant? Will they be able to answer my questions? Will the shoes fit after I’d take them home? What if it don’t find any that do the job? If I say I’m going to come back later, and then don’t, does that mean I’ve lied, however unintentionally that might have been? Can I go somewhere else? Will my feet hurt? How much to spend?

These questions are only some of the multitude that fly through my mind. And this is for nearly anything that I might feel encouragement within my soul to do. Buying gloves because the temperature is cold in winter. Sharing stories to work my way towards publishing things. Finishing songs I start writing, and then getting started on recording them. Playing ultimate and being a conscientious member of each game. Choosing to watch TV, or play video games, or read a book. Trying to embrace the courage to embark on doing something new.

This is exhausting. It is not a healthy use of time and I know it. But even this knowing becomes part of the negative thought spiral. Being annoyed at myself for not being able to believe the truth, that asking these questions about something that hasn’t happened, is not something that helps pragmatic progress.

A hook for a song that burned its way up from the depths of my soul this week:

Piece by piece the cracks within my heart will heal
But do I want them to, knowing the pain they conceal?
Hiding away from selfish pride
Willing tears that always die
Reflection of the darkness deep within
The end is near, but not like this

Everyone has their demons. Some are plainly visible, some hide just beneath the surface, others are buried deep within.

Know you are not alone. I do, even if I can’t believe it all the time I know it is the truth. I pray God’s peace and comfort go with you as we move into the second half of this year.

Cover photo by MART PRODUCTION from Pexels.

4 thoughts on “Tortured artists

  1. Gary Fultz says:

    I know the pain and the exultation, the extremes of the soul which produce lyric and song. I do much better asking God to produce within me his thoughts, his hook, his being to surface into lyrics and try not to push it but relax and rely on Him. I recently wrote and sang These lyrics in church “The Lord has given me a song, like a flowing stream, from within my soul…” …From the mountains I give praise, with his people anthems raise…” and so on. A lady just back from a missions trip felt it was her new best worship song but she died 24 hours later. Her husband asked for it at her funeral. God gave that to her through me. just an encouragement to you as God will purpose and design your music and lyrics.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hamish says:

      Thank you for sharing this beautiful story, and the gifts God has provided for you to share with others. And thank you for your encouragement. Though sometimes blinded by self-doubt, thoughts of being behind, moving slowly, inability to finish things, I know the truth in the words you have shared.

      Go with God, my friend. ❤

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Cheryl, Gulf Coast Poet says:

    I admire artists who can summon the muse. I cannot. For me, nothing kills creativity faster than trying to force myself to write. I do find that activities like being outdoors in nature and sleeping are conducive to creativity. for me. Everyone is different, so we must figure out what works for us. Make peace with yourself and do the best you can. The angst will pass. ❤ All the best, Hamish!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hamish says:

      Productivity is something that hangs over me at times. “Have I done enough today?” and that can lead to unintentionally pushing bedtime back. Thank you for sharing things that help you, and encouragement to make peace with creativity. 💛

      Liked by 2 people

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