Ping Pong

An artist’s mind grows tired in a fixed state. I would broadly categorise two natures that we ping pong between, high and sober, or excited and not excited. One may derive either of these states through various means of course, both are equally important in the process of creation. One needs to be not excited to absorb stimulus, emotion, information, technique. One needs to be excited to execute, to focus, to be precise, to apply.

What are the different ways one can achieve this excited state (One might assume that each of us is predisposed to being more on one side, excitement does not come easily to me, so I take this side. The opposite must be true for one who seeks sobriety). The easiest is obviously substance abuse. Or let us call it ingestion of an external substance, for even caffeine might produce the desired state, and yet we would not traditionally call caffeine an abusive substance. Or food. Or alcohol. Chemicals. The list is infinite. I do not believe there are many who do not require this form of readymade stimulus. However for most artists the change needs to be somewhat more drastic. I don’t think many musicians, following the consumption of coffee and cake, write epiphanic verses, or glorious lines, but one cannot say that this is impossible. Let us examine other forms of stimulus. Love. Sex. Violence. Fear. Meditation. These are all powerful stimulants. Some artists would subconsciously create situations where they may elicit these responses within themselves. I myself have dabbled in all of these.

I find the former the least complicated however. It does not require another person. Involving another human being, whoever that may be is going to be intricate, restricting. It is of course beautiful in its own way, but I have yet to understand how this form of stimulus can be balanced.

(As a side note: AA requires you to admit to yourself that you are powerless over alcohol. Whilst this is an optimal place to start, that is, to accept one’s defeat, is it also a permanent one? Can power not be learnt? Change is perpetual, I do not accept permanent in myself, except, perhaps, that love sustains my being, and that music sustains my heart and mind. I am constantly growing, why then must I accept this stagnation. It is coarse and primitive. I have much to think about.)

On a slightly dissimilar subject, it remains somewhat of a mystery to me, how people tolerate their own children. I understand love, I truly do, but what of sheer boredom, I find in my teaching of these biological specimens, that forty-five minutes later, I am somewhat suicidal in thought. Dogs are supposedly as intelligent as 2-year old infants. However they are blessed with the inability of human speech and their desires are fairly simple, they have no quest for knowledge, no questions, they want food, love, a bed, plants to poop on, space to run in, and a healthy existence. If my dogs were to start talking I would feel no remorse, at all, in placing them within the confines of a pound, far away from me.

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