Friday, August 12, 2005

Creative Drought

As you might have guessed from my blog silence, I've been on a bit of a hiatus from writing. I'm not exactly sure why I'd rather drool catatonically at the wall than type out my thoughts, but that's been my attitude as of late. My thinking has undergone a bizarre change that it kind of hard to explain--I'll give it a shot.

Typically, when I think about things, I tend to think in text and words. Abstract concepts in particular become like essays, endless black and white pages stored in my mind for future use. The advantage of thinking this way is that when you go to put your thoughts on paper, they translate fluidly from mental concepts to logical sentences that actually convey the precise thought. When I was in school, thinking this way was always fabulous because if I couldn't actively remember a concept, I could picture what the text would look like and sometimes, I could just read my mental text. Other times, the words were blurry, but at least they were there to start with.

I'm comfortable thinking in text. I am totally baffled by my recent mental paradigm shift. ugh. Now, I'm thinking in pictures that I don't have the right words to describe. I had a job interview yesterday and I was talking about Russell Crow in A Beautiful Mind (don't ask) and I could not, for the life of me, remember the name of the movie. All my mind would process was a picture of Russell Crow in a psychiatric ward getting ECT. Yesterday, Brendan and I were talking about our favorite memories and for each memory, I had this vivid picture in my mind, a picture so pristine that it could never really translate into words at all. I mean, I could imagine the smells and tastes and emotions I experiences when I was living those moments. And it's not like overwhelming sensations. Like one of memories is from scuba diving and I remember how the thingy you put in your mouth tasted. I remember how the compressed air tasted. These sensations have little to do with the good part of the memory, which involved watching sea turtles swim around, but they were there, cluttering my ability to actually describe the scene.

I've never really had trouble verbally expressing myself before. I've got the gift of the gab. Or at least I did until July came around. I suppose I could be out of practice due to my recent self-isolation. But being out of practice shouldn't change my way of seeing the world.

The other thing is that I've gained this whole new appreciation for music. I dug out my guitar and my saxophone and I've found myself longing for a piano and sheet music. Music has become some kind of refuge, but in a weird way. First, I've caught myself listening to the same song over and over and over and over. iTunes counts the # of times a song has been played, and in the first week I downloaded it, one song was played more than 100 times. Ask Brendan about how much I hate it when he repeats himself and you'll understand just how much of an oddity my listening patterns really are. I've also caught myself downloading songs from the ole days, like 1995ish. And they're some of my long time favorites. But when you put them together and listen to them, you kinda get the impression that I was a really demented little 13 year old. There's a bit of Metallica and Marilyn Manson , squished together with The Nixons (sister) and Three Days Grace and then Pink Floyd (comfortably numb) thrown in for good measure. I suppose Papa Roach and Puddle of MUD have gotten a bit of play too. But I mean, who sits there and listens to the same song over and over again. It's just weird. And I am SO not one of those people who actually knows the names of the bands that play pop music.

I used to have this nightmare about being on a boat that was in the harbor during a storm and the captain put us out to sea and when the storm cleared, we were just lost in this endless ocean. The odd thing was that the ocean was comforting, like a companion rather than an obstacle. And the ocean was calm. And black. Like oil.

Which reminds me, I hate gas prices. I like to drive around when I'm aimless and I can't afford to toodle around the countryside when it costs a small freakin fortune.

*Changing train of thought*

My sleep patterns have been totally wacky too. I'm getting that back under control now, but for awhile there, I was staying up for 36 hours, sleeping 10, then staying up for 5 hours and sleeping 15, then staying awake for 30 hours and so on. At one point, I was joking with Brendan that we should go Austrailia cuz they're 12 hours time change and I was literally waking up at 3:00pm and going to bed at 7:00am.

Alas, I'm wasting my potential at the moment. I just wish I could bring myself to actually care.