The Heart of Story


The heart of things is the story. How you tell it, the reason why. Often enough, it may be to give yourself an alibi. Because in the middle you lie, naked, unprotected, with only your story to save you from pain. You let the reader in, but you control the attention, just allowing what you will. You hide behind illusions, inside phrases, wrapping revelations in ribbons and bunting, so they never know you keep yourself outside, a stranger, though each reader befriends you with an open heart.

I was taught story was another word for lie. How apt that can be. I write only a few stories, though I could spin more. They come too close to my center, I can feel them suck the marrow from my bones, and I fear their ability to consume. I think that may be why the novel lies unfinished at Chapter 22. I am invested in it, but what happens if it sells, or if it refuses to find a home, or released, flops?

When we work creatively, we imbue every part, crossroads, and branch with ourselves. There is no work without the creativity we contain. We may try to leave ourselves out of a story, poem, novel, song, painting, drawing, sculpture, movie, photograph, but we are there. Many, if we gain a following, will recognize our work even without a visible designation. We are embodied in all we do.

As a prompt, I do not recommend you hide, but I would like to suggest that you step outside from yourself and create something without your fingerprints all over it, something your tears have not washed pure enough for consumption. This will not be easy because we are creators with deep blood ties to everything we make, but I hope you will try. You will learn something about the power within you and how dominant a force it is.

I mentioned in my last posting that I had been given a concept. When you see it, you may laugh, because I have about ten hours work in it, maybe more. My relationship with Art is complicated. There have been times when I worked often and became fluent, but I tend to let it go because of the time involved. My perfectionism gets wrapped up in every line, every stroke of shading, I work and overwork.

#1 2018-01-31 Via the Cross

Do you ever play, creatively? As I have mentioned, I just invent haiku to fill time. If you are not using this little form and you are a writer, I recommend you begin. I hear you, not a poet. You are not required to be. This is like scales for pianists. You warm up. The simple three line, 5-7-5 syllable pattern, will give you focus. You can do something random, or you can think of a situation your character is facing, or flaw you need to illustrate. Working in words one way; can lead to a breakthrough in other ways.

Rare thoughts in the mind
Of our great creator, God,
We are each precious.

The flames are licking
Destruction beckons, but no,
Our crossing is safe.

If love still exists,
Then why must many spend dark
Days; haunted, alone.

Do not pick that rose
It is not best meant that you
Capture that black heart.

What happens when we
Step away, join another
Game, all new to us?

When beset too much about with worldly distress, to do challenging work we must, unclog our minds. We must send things, that vampire-like, suck us dry of our good intentions and better motives, into the distance. It is hoped we can keep them out of our mental landscape forever, but that seldom happens. We may not belong to the world, but we live within its troposphere and so must make do with the winds of change we encounter.

We have all hoped at times to reignite our fire, passion, for creative endeavors from which we have grown to feel estranged. Things that no longer seem to promote joy within us. There exist ways to do this. One is to store the equipment, all the things involved with the art away for a set amount of time. I recommend no more than a week, two at the most. Then brainstorm some projects for your unveil day. This will give you something immediate to concentrate on when you take your equipment out. Another is to keep your supplies handy where you do work but go somewhere outside of your typical day’s round. If you can, visit a museum, garden, amusement park, downtown space, traverse country roads. Feed your imagination, fill yourself with sights and experiences that renew your love. Come back and illustrate the feelings you have purchased with your excursion, the emotions, then the things. Lastly, and you will in all likelihood balk, set aside three days to a week that you do not consume any television and instead read, listen to music, take walks, and pick up your tools and create without the distraction. If you can also give up social media the cleanse will be more complete.

I am grateful, today:

  1.   I will most likely be able to wash clothes, dishes, and myself after this evening.
  2.   God placed a great deal of creativity within me.
  3.    I took a short nap because I felt unwell, and got up feeling much better.
  4.    There are so many great books in the world.
  5.    I have this site.
  6.    Life though sometimes hard, is a glorious thing.
  7.    Though we may never meet, by words, we are connected.

I hope what I do here inspires or encourages you. Sometimes more than anything we need someone to tell us it is okay to be who we are. We do not have to melt ourselves into some mold. Yes, we creatives may be different. Our souls may be more tender, our hearts more easily broken, but that is okay. Creatives take the rough and tumble world and turn it into an environment where we can comfortably live. Some are architects, designers, transportation engineers, chefs, carpenters, clothiers, musicians, novelists, poets, prose writers, film-makers, actors, typesetters, editors, set builders, teachers, pastors, politicians, almost anyone. Creativity requires a willingness and commitment to the good of ourselves and others in the world. How one approaches each task, that openness to finding the solution that works with the least negative consequence, that is the essence of creative work. With creativity, we experience aspects of love that are deep-rooted, not so much in romance, but in the living, breathing, being of our lives. I hope you are experiencing the benefits of creativity, if not put that quality of yourself into action now.

Thank you for visiting Haphazard Creative, I hope you will either come back or click the follow button, so you get updates when there are postings. Run well when you race, but remember some races involve diversions which are as important as the finish. I hope you will stay safe, healthy, prosperous, happy, and as much as is possible trouble free. Life is a gift, do not live like a mole, never seeing the world, blinded in the dark.

© Jo Ann J. A. Jordan

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