Monday, 31 October 2011

In search of comfort.

I was a little scared to write a blog post this week. Scared not because today is in fact Halloween (insert ‘s if you like- I long since dropped them), rather that I didn’t actually know the meaning of the theme. Catharsis then, is “ the purging of the emotions or relieving of emotional tensions, especially through certain kinds of art, as tragedy or music”, ( I suppose for me this means writing.

I find writing to be one of those things everybody hates the idea of. At some point or other most children dismiss the idea of writing their own story as boring. Teenagers tell me they spend all their time on the Xbox and as for adults- being taken seriously enough I find half the battle. Of course, I am generalising slightly - there are always certain circles in which writing is encouraged and for those reading this- circle members themselves I assume, I am grateful.

In truth, I find that writing itself can be incredibly cathartic (look, I used the new word). It gives a certain release. It has not escaped my attention either, that a lot of those initial doubters come to the world of writing through some kind of pain or emotion- the lover boy bursting into song, the poems of the jilted, the poems of remembrance...

I don’t find this a bad thing. I had a conversation earlier in the week about people coming to poetry because they think it is an easy option- well, let them enjoy themselves- the torture of balancing that one awkward sound three stanzas in is something they’ll get to in time. When the frustrations are clear from your head and you find them replaced by that one struggling idea- that is when I think it really plays in- the dual release when you finally get it down on paper. You can make this last hours, weeks sometimes, just waiting for that thought to drop in- and it will at some point. That is the other truth I’ve found- nobody ever really gives up writing, they merely break off for a while.

I like to think- that is why I write. I like to develop ideas, move them around, play the film through in my head and then capture exactly what it is that I want to show people. I try to do that every time with my work and more often than not I get frustrated. When I think something is right though- that is what makes it all worth it. That is the relieving of tensions through art, and it is art.

I spent last Friday walking with Lara. A rare fair-weathered October afternoon meant we were going out somewhere and we ended up over Longridge Fell. Out there, I found myself thinking about the Nietzsche quote “all truly great thoughts are conceived by walking”. I agree with the fella. It was nice to have a bit of real thinking time to cast my mind over things.

I was inspired by the day. I am inspired by Halloween. I am inspired by a lot of bloody things to be quite honest- I feel my mind is like a tumble drier of potential poem ideas (not many of which are related) at the moment. It was only on Friday, with the help of a t-shirt quote and some rolling Lancashire hills, that I found where they could fit together. As a result, some of those fragmented ideas are now slipping into poems and boy, does that feel good. Tension well and truly purged.

I’ll try and have a new poem up for next week. For now though, thanks for reading.




Lindsay said...

Absolutely, writing is definately cathartic, when I actually get something down or draw something I feel genuinely calm and content. I look forward to next weeks poem :)

Ashley R Lister said...

Thanks Shaun. You saved me a trip to wikipedia to find out what the word means :-)

Great post,