Creative Aggravation

I spent this last week finishing off my project, ‘Abundant Delicious’. It’s been five years in the making during which time ‘ordinary life’ had been very tough and I felt I somehow ought to be more buoyant about it all….

says I to myself…

But the truth is, I felt really dark and brooding and a bit…

bad tempered.

I began to question it..

then analyze it..

and then go, ‘hang on this is normal..’

Our creations create us back, have us brush with death and chaos, bend us into new and interesting shapes….

In the process of individuation, too, new contents can announce themselves in this devouring form and darken consciousness; this is experienced as a depression, that is to say, as being pulled downward. ~Carl Jung, Children’s Dreams Seminar, Page 373.

Acts of creation have their own lives. They inveigle your inner world, reroute your hard drive through the thermo link coupling and then via the auxiliary engines….

never would have thought of that, mon.

Somewhere between having a lama for a house guest and doing the 24 hours le Mans over half a decade, by snail.

When I first had the idea for this piece, when it had condensed itself in my imagination to the extent that the entirety of life’s aggravation could not put me off the scent, I sat myself down and wrote out a contract listing a number of annoying things I had to take into consideration and accept/agree to in the process..

stuff like repossession..

yes, ok….

And de policeman…


well, but the crucial thing was not the outer trouble I was in, it was that I and me had to hold fast enough together, create enough inner cohesion and bloody minded determination to get it done. Its like a military exercise..

as well as act of devotion…

…a route march through shade and tone and line.

people say , ‘oh, you must be so patient’, but mostly as a way of excluding themselves from Art’s possibility.. And so i go, ‘no, its just that I’m not in a hurry in the first place.’ I’m a plodder. A fizzing plodder. And finishing it all is bound to be a kind of damp, squibby, fizzly out….ish… depression.

Only when we bear our situation and accept our depression will it be possible for us to change internally. ~Carl Jung, Children’s Dreams Seminar, Page 373.

I once walked the Offa’s Dyke walk one summer. It’s 300 kms of Welsh hills all along the border with England, built by King Offa back in 1062 to keep the barbarian English out.

En route I teamed up with a couple of other guys who caught up with me at the foothills of the Black Mountains. The younger was 6’4”, 25 years old of muscle and testosterone. The older was 50ish slightly built, walking staff.. He continuously held us up with tea breaks and various nonsense, advising us on how to skruch up our toes in the dirt and air our socks………..

Only after a while did i realise he really knew what he was on about. He wasn’t just interfering. I began to study the man. He really knew how to walk. He always seemed to be lighting his pipe or taking in the view across the valley without falling back. The younger guy was huffing and puffing, passing up the umpteenth offer of a brew up in favour of ‘getting on’. but he never seemed to get ahead and by the time we got to Kington he was unable to walk at all and we had to shovel him onto a bus home.

The older guy and I then walked another 100km. Taking in the veiw, finding nice dry trees to have a brew up beneath and enjoying the Abundant Deliciousness of everything.

The key to success is to love what you do so much that you’d be happy taking forever over it. Where every delay is just one more opportunity to perfect the craft, and every moment of not knowing what comes next, the chance to muse on the wonder of life.