On the afterwards, the presence of fear, and the ugliness of birth

September 07, 2011 Candace Morris 15 Comments

Apparently August has come and gone.  The traffic on the bridge can only be explained by the influx of students and parents back to the daily grind.  I've noticed myself looking back a lot these last few days, trying to assimlate new information, new faces, and new feelings into my daily doings.

I believe one of my greatest strengths is in analysis.  Also, as an introvert, my natural tendency is to look back and assess my and others' behaviors and words (read: obsess).  Both of these personality traits combined makes for an anxious aftermath to social events, and I often feel that I severely mirepresented myself, wish I would have not said ___, wish I would have done ___, etc...and suddently, that swift and severe axe of self-judgement comes swinging down upon my head.  Now, I'm bleeding and blind.  I wonder if other people do this?

It reminds me of a year or so ago after a particularly grueling ladies' night.  Lots of wine had us loosed-lipped and  unabashedly weepy.  I remember waking up the next morning not only nursing a nasty headache, but feeling particularly sheepish about my vulnerable behavior and spent a few hours replaying everything I said just in case I needed to apologize to someone.  I desperately wished to go back in time and regain the composure and control I then seemed so eager to rid myself of.  I comforted myself with the notion that the other girls were probably feeling the same way and wrote one of them a letter to that effect, encouraging her not to succumb to false insecurities, to not berate herself for something she may have said,  and to take all parts of the others into her being with willing acceptance, gracious forgiveness, and fierce loyalty.

In the end, there is nothing to do with my analysis of people other than to love them.  This includes myself.  I am human.  You are human.  We can be decidedly virtuous and altruistic. We can be atrociously maleficent and grotesque.  Even the most composed of people have hurt someone else with a flippant, impulsive comment.  Lord knows every single one of us has been hurt by the same.  We can spout off so much of our bull shit and soapbox about our arbitrary opinions that can crush others around us at worst, or (at best) keeps them from sharing their own opinions.  We do not listen well, we do not speak carefully.  We intimidate and dominate and in our eagerness to be known, bulldoze those in our company.

All of this to say that I feel this great need to analyze and obsess and ultimately forgive.  I also feel the need to assure myself of people's affections for me.  But in the end, my acceptance of Candace is what is really in decline.  I could easily demand assurances from others, but I know, oh dears, HOW I KNOW - this is my battle.   It is no one's job but my own to be confident and to trustingly accept people's words at face value without criticism or manipulative self-deprecation.

Speaking of insecurities, I have recently been stopped short by fear.  Many of you know I am working on a humble collection of poems for self-publishing.  I am in the editing stages, and I have to tell someone - the poems are total shit. They are simply not good enough to put out into the world; a world I love, a world of Plath and Rilke and Shakespeare and Donne.  I do not think the world needs another mediocre poet.  For the most part, I am a confident writer and care little about how my work is received (coming from someone who has received only positive feedback, so I realize I am lacking in the character formed by artistic rejection).  Now that I am really looking to put myself out there, fear is taking hold of my throat. I feel it very physcially.

One one hand, the fear makes me pissed and frustrated.  On the other, I see it as a necessary birth pang.  What mother wasn't afraid to give birth?  What artist wasn't terrified to put their canvas on display?  Fear is a right of passage, and I'm beginning to trust its presence and leave it alone.

"Oh hello Fear.  I forgot you were there.  You may go now."
(a small adaptation of Doc Holliday in Tombstone)

I am sick of the portayal of artists and designers and stylists online who chose to convey an overly-white, overly-simple, overly-amiable, overly-clear, and annoyingly overly-painless process to creating.  Even if it sometimes gets muddy for them, it seems they are unable to express the sheer disgusting ugliness that comes from birth.  Have you ever seen a woman deliver a baby?  It's completely violent and gross.  It's also the most naturally beautiful occurance.

What I am saying here is that creating is ugly. I am prepared to work hard on these poems and puke them up and be doubled over in labor pains and fight like holy hell to bring forth that which has been placed inside of me.  I am on the verge of something wanting out and it's gagging me and tearing me and I am not sure I will survive it.  

I hope you'll like the poems.  I hope you'll like me.
But more so, I hope against ALL HOPE that I like them, that I will like me.
And that the scars won't be too bad.

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