I’ve found that some of the best written works that I have ever created, whether sitting down properly in front of a computer and availing of spellcheck, jotting ideas on a little notepad that I always keep in my purse, or even desperately scrawling smudged words on a crumpled napkin, all have a common factor. When I am calm and relaxed, when I am “normal,” my words come out, well, frankly… “meh.” I find them like a bowl of mushy, overcooked rice- Bland, inoffensive, neutral in appearance and flavor, and forgettable. These are characteristics that I strongly detest, not only related to writing, but in general.
But then there are the moments when I create what I believe to be sudden strokes of brilliance- Using the food analogy, I am effortlessly able to find the right concoction of words that are exotic, spicy, and have a distinct flavor all their own. Some people might salivate at the thought, while others are completely repulsed.
Among the best I have been when I am experiencing one of my “episodes;” That is, a period of time, whether it lasts an hour, a day, or longer, of powerful and extreme emotion. It could be an episode of positive emotions- For example, since I’ve become a mom, there are random moments when I start thinking about my son, and I just feel overwhelmed with these intense feelings of love and ecstatic joy to the point where tears start to well up. If cartoon hearts could pour out of me, they would. The entire world shines and glows and radiates with the same sentiment. Life for that moment in time is utterly pristine and perfect, and all I wish is to mark it down to capture the moment as it is and hold onto it for as long as I can in the future.
And then there are the moments that are not bright. It’s like I feel an equally powerful wave of emotion come over me, but it’s more like a wave on a beach that appears out of nowhere, crashes down on me with a deadly thud, and I struggle to escape and gulp air for some sort of relief. It’s hard to see light or comprehend it or remember what it is. It has been in this type of state on this extreme end of the spectrum that I have also created, constructed, and composed some of the most powerful works that I have ever written, but these are obviously much darker. I find myself deep within a pitch black well of sorts, with the proverbial canary in the cage dead. Once again, I must write.
In either case, unfortunately, I was not blessed with an artist’s hand, so all that I can really do in an attempt to exorcise the “state” is to transcribe what I see and experience, though I’m not always sure why.
It’s hard to say what triggers these drastic changes of emotional state, but all I know for certain is that it is something that cannot be consciously provoked or artificially ignited. It just happens (whether I want it to or not). But when I am “overtaken” by these emotions, it’s almost like being possessed by some sort of force that compels me to write, and will not allow me to be at peace until I thoroughly comply.
While I preface that I am not a psychologist or medically qualified, I wouldn’t necessarily pull a self-diagnosis and categorize these “episodes” (I use this term for lack of better words) as bi-polar related, nor moments of psychosis (I still know my name, the year, that I cannot fly, and that the sky is blue, and so on). The fact of the matter is, trying to accurately explain how one Violet is and how she thinks, how she functions and what makes her tick is an impossible task, like speaking in the third person point of view about a totally different creature. One can only speculate and infer what the ride is like before getting on the formidable roller coaster, but once you’re on, you don’t get off until the ride is ready to be over.
Even now as I write this, I continue to type out my sentences, and then immediately hit the “backspace” button after I process what I’ve just written, back and forth, back and forth in a never-ending quagmire. Oh well…
With that being said, which Violet do you think is writing this entry?