“You know,” a friend confessed, “my writing was much better when I was suffering.”
We were talking about breakdowns. The terrible journey we had taken from the staright path of normality. Some years back, we had both hit our walls. We were both in professions that indicated our public spirit and quests to improve things.
We both wobbled at about the same time, with the finishing line just becoming a reality. The crash saw us being stopped in our tracks before being flung back to someplace that was around the starting line. We have both lost credibility, wages, pensions and prestige. But now we seem to have lost our creativity.
“It comes with the territory,” I wisely explained.
He gave me one of those stoic looks, one that says, ‘sure I know, but it doesn’t stop it from being just a little shitty’. The last sting in the tail of a thing that has been stinging forever.
Of all the things that were lost, the gaining of a newly found creativity seemed to provide some compensation. It was a door that was ever-so slightly ajar, a promise of a block of light beyond it. It was creativity and the need to write that began to open that door. Now, it is less apparent.
“But would you change it?”
It was a good question, one that demanded me to think about the unthinkable. Would I exchange my rediscovered creativity for the world of certainty, the world in which people are rewarded for toughing it out?
I think the answer is NO.
I looked at my friend and saw that the dilemma sat as heavily upon him as it did on me.