The hardest thing is to leave the work unfinished for the day. Sometimes I seek desperately for the validation of arrival, but every day ends with unanswered questions and unsolved riddles. I am hounded by my own creativity. There is no way out.
I know I’m doing this wrong. Three days ago, an artist retreat in Cleveland showed me a glimpse of truth: that love comes from being, not from work (even creative work); that I am already a son; that nothing I can bring about by my own will has the power to improve the vision or create “success.”
In light of this wrecking of my little castle, I’m having a hard time figuring out what to do. This seems to be my calling. Outside of time spent with people I love, making stories (and sometimes music) is the only thing that makes me feel alive. Somehow, in spite of the choked-up sewer that is my truth-conduit, the clear water of truth is coming out of me (sometimes). I have these abilities. I seem to be able to create this stuff. I hunger and thirst after the right way. I really do. How do I exercise these abilities without descending into narcissism and obsession? How do I give with these abilities, instead of taking? Is there any agency, any room for choice left to me, or are the successful times all the Spirit’s doing and the rest just the half-baked scams of my ego?
This past weekend, I felt the profound weight of holiness. It is a thing you do not touch. The selfish thoughts that sprang up in me looked away at once and held their hands behind their backs. Something of terrible power was in the room. At last, my spirit slipped into alignment with the deep logic of Love. There was no space to deny the holiness, nor even space to stand back and observe. Cultural rituals and anthropological investigation be damned: we were in the presence of the Most High, and it was pulsing in our vocal cords, our neurons, in the blank white walls of the empty sanctuary.
Now my head hurts and it is snowing again. I’ve mailed off the jury thing, hoping the claim of “non-resident of county” will excuse me. I still need to check the oil level in my car. I still need to get the thing repaired, too. I need to rectify this situation with 20 pixely-covered copies of my book—copies that have the old cover—copies that I hope to claim towards a credit on copies with the new cover. My publishing venture has twenty-four dollars in the bank, none of which is profit after cost. I am eleven hundred in the hole with it from last year, six hundred in the hole from this year. I am tired. I want God. I want a functional, chemically balanced brain. I want to stop feeling like I should smash things. I want God. I want people to read my books—not for my financial gain, not to get me famous, but because my books are true. They are about God and us and nothing more. I want God. I want to go back, or forwards—I am not sure which—to wherever God is.
I guess it is forwards. It’s never back. I know that. I know that.