Wednesday, 1 June 2011

Pandoras Box

Feelings are transient and move so quickly that sometimes it is hard to grasp them and keep them in your mind, I'd like to be able to hold onto them for a while, to be able to look at them. I imagine pinning post it notes to a cork board, my feelings scrawled across the yellow paper in black ink, a whole wall of fleeting feelings displayed for me to make sense of, like an investigating officer in some convoluted detective novel.

I haven't written for a while, I've been very busy, but more than that I sometimes find myself stuck for words. It's not writers block, not in the general sense, it's more like I have so many jumbled feelings, many of them dark, that I'm not sure whether to put them down on paper. I am afraid that if I start to write when I feel a certain way that the recesses of my mind will pour out, flood like, and I will drown in the process. 

I get the urge to write so strongly at times but yet I stop myself, I can feel myself wading in the anoxic swamp of my memory, it feels thick and heavy and clings to me in dreams manifesting itself in abstract distortions. The words can flow easily from my pen but I stop myself before I begin. Why is going back to yourself so scary, when my memories and feelings seek expression. My younger self and my present self sit on my shoulders, like the devil and the angel, listing all the reasons for writing and all the reasons for not writing 

''Writing is what you are supposed to do''

''People won't like your writing''

''Who cares what people think, you need to write to understand''

''You'll piss off your family''

''You are autonomous, this is your art, make it''

''You can't deny that people will be pissed off''

''Maybe, writing is scary, you have to be brave''

This little battle of wills stops me delving down into my subconcious and pulling out my best material, the real me, the torment and the pain, all the things that have made me the person I am today, but more than that sometimes words are not enough. Language, although beautiful, sometimes restrains expression by it's very nature, it is limited. Language reshapes feelings and makes them something else, the feelings in my mind can never be fully expressed through words alone because language seeks to restrain and control chaos and chaos cannot be controlled. There are never enough words that can translate the path of my life, I feel one way and when I write, something else entirely different comes out.

I can feel angry and spiteful but yet I find myself writing about trivial anecdotal things instead, I can be longing for a baby and scared about that at the same time, only to find myself writing about my teenage years and childhood friendships. I can be reminiscing about lying awake at night my heart beating in my chest, shutting the door, locking and relocking it, checking under my bed for intruders, as an adult, not a child, I can feel the fear constricting my throat but I cannot write it down.
I can feel putrid lips trying to kiss mine but I cannot write my disgust. I can feel the petrifying physicality of panic attacks rocking my whole body but I cannot write my terror, I can feel the intense hatred of myself but I cannot write the shame. And it is a shame that I cannot write the shame because I want to be able to.

Am I ashamed of the shame and the terror and the disgust. Probably. I can contain the pain and box it up, tape it shut, hide it away but it is still there and I know it is still there. It will always be there screaming to be opened, but like pandoras box, if I open it, all the world will come out.


Anonymous said...

loved reading this post - you are an amazing writer xxx Gemma

Anonymous said...

I don't think that writing is that scary, I think that it's the sharing that is scary. It leaves us vulnerable, wide open to expressing parts of ourself and being judged. Now that? That is scary.

I for one think you have a real talent. x

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