Today I will talk to you about the unique creative spark that burns within me and that separates us. But first, I have often wondered if God has wireless internet, and if his network is secure. What is the extent of God's wi-fi hot-spot? I have never used wireless Internet, and I have very little knowledge of wireless Internet. I have never had cause to use wireless Internet. I do not own a laptop. I do not work in the IT industry. I have read about wireless Internet but I do not use it, and I have very little knowledge of wireless Internet. I have very little knowledge of wireless Internet. I only have one computer and it does not move from place to place. My computer does not have built-in wireless Internet.

"all we see today, 800 years on, are the cathedrals that didn't fall down" [1]

I have been pondering this quote. I have been thinking about the impossibility of spontaneous expression. Especially in a literary context. Specifically, I have been thinking about the barriers to creativity and expression that we create for ourselves. A drunken man experiences no barriers to his expression. And yet very few artists are drunken men, and drunken men are seldom exhibited in art galleries.

Many of you know me from my writings here on Everything2. But you do not really know me. You know a timeshifted, cooled-down version of me, a post-hoc me. It takes time and effort and mental discipline to write a series of coherent paragraphs that start from nothing and build up to a conclusion. The words you read are the product of outbursts that I have experienced in my daily life. My outbursts take time and effort, but they are undisciplined. When I speak my word in the privacy of my own room I do not have to think about structure and coherence, and I do not have to worry how other people might react to my appearance. I am free to use as many media as I want in the course of my expression. I can sing, and bounce, and spit. I cannot sing when I am in the company of others. I cannot sing when I am work. I am prevented from doing so by my own fear, which has kept me alive for thirty years.

It does not matter if my thoughts are disjointed, if the glue that holds them together becomes unhinged. My future self can edit them, arrange them later on in the studio. I do not write down my impulses, because that would introduce editing at too early a stage. Instead, I carry my thoughts in my head, where they gestate. Sometimes they fade or become perverted. But it is of no consequence. There is many a slip between cup and lip. True thirst will overcome the clumsiest of hands.

If you were to build a model of me based on my writings on Everything2 you would not end up with a model of me. It would be as if you had set out to build a replica of a man using stray hairs and flakes of skin scoured from his bedroom. Your model would be made of things that the body has cast off. It would not live. The majority of my thoughts and feelings pass from this world unexpressed, and I keep my dearest thoughts to myself. There are things I write, and do not publish; there are things I ponder, but do not write. And there are thoughts that are half-thought. Like semi-submerged icebergs, hidden beneath the waves. They can pierce metal. You base your knowledge of bygone civilisations on the cathedrals that did not fall down. And you cannot build a man out of thoughts and plans alone.

There are different flavours of creativity, and there are many different creative working methods, just as there are many different colours, and an infinity of blended shades, and techniques for transferring quantities of paint onto the canvas. My method is that of the potter or modelmaker. I start with raw materials - thoughts, quotes, words, phrases, and ideas. And then I shape this raw material over a period of days and weeks. Once I have shaped the raw material I must polish it. And when I have finished polishing, my work is not done, because I often attempt so large a task as to overwhelm the efforts of one man. My intellect smothers me, like a man smothered in the arms of a strong woman. I must rely upon the help of others, specifically my future selves, and it is for this reason that I am so drawn to the idea of a Wiki SEMICOLON not as a tool for collaboration, but as a tool for proof-reading and ongoing improvement. It is sad that great artists of the past did not survive to the present day. Their art would have been so much better if they had been able to use the Internet. They would have been able to read their own works, at Project Gutenberg, and they would therefore have had a head start.

My kind of creativity is painstaking and disciplined. Lucency must be moulded into lucidity. It is like the process of eating. The taste sensation exists for a moment, whereas digestion takes several days and is not pleasant. But a man would die if he could not digest food, no matter how good it tastes. I must cool my supernova before I can set my thoughts onto paper. As my creative process proceeds into the small intestine I feel fewer and fewer emotions, and eventually I feel nothing at all. I am writing the minutes of a meeting I attended, some time ago. Voices were raised but it does not matter now. It was a difficult birth but the child has grown up and left home. My emotions and feelings generate words. But I cannot generate emotions and feelings from words. Eventually I experience the crash, whereby I become empty and listless, unable to write or think. I am running on iron, like a dying star in its final moments.

I am aware that my kind of creativity is not fashionable. I am not a fashionable person. Fashion exists for the moment, whereas I am writing for all time. My words will live on, long after flared trousers have died. There may well come a time when human beings do not need to wear trousers in order to function in society. The most fashionable kind of creativity is the random inspirational blurt of the possessed and the passionate. This is the most valued kind of creativity. Uncreative people do not aspire to work for twelve hours a day in a workshop. Uncreative people do not celebrate hard work. When creative people are portrayed in films, they are passionate people who produce masterpieces in a weekend of furious typing and drinking and painting and editing and fucking, fucking and drinking, parties and fucking and drinking and screwing, and fucking and drinking and screwing, endless scenes of fucking and driving around in cars, and drinking. I am painfully aware that this is not the reality of creation. It is a fiction. If creativity was all about debauchery, why am I not debauched?

I believe that the creative process draws heavily on the unknown. On the unexpressed, and on those things that people overlook, or do not wish to confront. There is much about myself that I do not wish to confront, and yet it influences my decisions. Nonetheless many people aspire to the creative lifestyle, in the belief that it will make them creative; society prizes creative people or, more accurately, society prizes those people who conspicuously display their creativity, and even then society only idolises certain types of creative person, certain modulations of creativity. The imitation is not reality. One cannot hope to generate a thing by perfecting the illusion of a thing. One cannot hope to engineer an accurate chicken based on a written report of the taste of a chicken sandwich.

Human beings do not have a memory of feelings. I can remember the lyrics to My Bloody Valentine's classic romantic ballad "Only Shallow" exactly as they were when I first read them. But I cannot remember how I felt when I first heard that song. I can remember times in my past when I felt emotions, but I cannot feel the emotions. I cannot even re-generate the emotion by re-playing the stimulus, because the moment has passed. But feelings are the product of hormones and chemicals that are pumped around the body in response to external stimulus. Perhaps I could record the precise chemical mixture of my hormones and secretions. But even if I could, I would not be able to record the emotional component of feelings, the subtle shades. I would be recording a quantised, downsampled clone of the original that would briefly gasp for breath and then flop down dead.

I can remember many of the thoughts I thought when I was young. But I cannot remember how I felt. And so there are elements of my past that I cannot explain, because I do not know what drove me.

All of art will fade. But diamonds are forever. That is why I respect the jeweller. Because the jeweller walks in eternity. And so I am no longer Ashley Pomeroy, the Human Cartoon. Now I am Ashley Pomeroy, the Jeweller.

[1]http://www.regdeveloper.com/2006/06/07/future_hype_seidensticker/

"Human centre for world affairs"



From writeup above: "Human beings do not have a memory of feelings."

First, while I think the quotation that generated this node is excellent and Ashley's intent seems sincere, I write the following as a rebuttal. My words below are meant as a simple and polite response.
No. I disagree.

Many writers spend their entire lives writing about feelings. Those they had and remember -vividly. Also, of course there are the feelings that others have shared with them and often- very often I think, there are imagined feelings. Those emotions unknown, but pondered- the "I wonder How they felt when that happened even though I was not there" sort of feelings.

The attempt, the effort, to capture that moment is for many writers (myself included) the entire purpose of the enterprise. It is the reason for the words.

Describing the What in some detail- in rich and explicit detail- might give others an insight into the Why and the How. It is a recounting of your feelings at that moment, as a reaction to an event- to a person, etc. That story may be the Foreground, the background or the entire progression that led to that moment- that led to your interest in writing About it. In any form this is and can be described.

A statement of what is , if written well, has staying power. It may not be a faithful reproduction, but it is a specific description. A statement of what is; of what was.

When captured and put into text your writing should/ might/could - give that insight- and your audience--the readers of this-should/might/could share that with you- an echo that would enlighten. Not necessarily a noble goal, but a goal worth pursuing.

Lastly, and perhaps not coincidentally, I would like to respond to the suggestion that few writers create while intoxicated. I would guess that there are thousands (millions?) of brillant artists- living and dead, who worked while drunk and/or while stoned. Not all of them writers, but more than a few. Creations made while under the influence range from brilliant to pathetic. That work likely amazes and bewilders both artists and their audience. I would bet that much of this never sees the light of day. I would also venture that much of what we describe as brilliant work was created in just this fashion.
This is not an endorsement, simply a reporting of fact.

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