I started journaling when I was about 16. Over the decades, that evolved to my just recording dreams. My handwriting was (and is) terrible, so trying to figure out what I was saying at any time was so much work that I mostly only just recorded my thoughts and feelings, rarely revisiting them.
Nevertheless, on those occasions when I tried to glean some feelings from the past, I was struck by how few metaphors I used to explain a thought or feeling. Mostly, I just described my experience by writing down my feelings. Not only did this make it very difficult to read, but it seemed to provide the raw emotions that were expressed in a way that made them more difficult to absorb. Without metaphor, access seemed difficult.
Through the years, I’ve encouraged myself to use metaphor and graspable images to enhance my ability to communicate what I want to say. At first, it felt very forced, so deliberate were the efforts to make what I had to say understandable. Over the last ten years, it has become easier. Starting this blog two years ago pushed me further in the direction of writing to be understood at the same time that I wrote to express what I had to say.
This last summer, listening to the computer-generated music compositions of my son, Elia, I suddenly saw in my mind’s eye my work regarding evolution in video format with Elia’s music deepening the communication of those written compositions. In August, when he and I drove down roadways that flanked the Mississippi, I began to interpret what I was seeing in ways that would impact what I was writing. Music, images and words were starting to interact.
That process deepens. Using the teleprompter, I lay down the narrative. I collect photos and videos off of Flickr’s Creative Commons section and occasionally Wikipedia Commons and other sources. I shoot some video myself. I consult Elia regarding music. I don’t tax the capabilities of Final Cut Express, utilizing just the basics for now, discovering what feels like a whole other hidden, creative capability inside me.
For several years, I produced comic strips and panels. Words and pictures told a narrative story. Producing video, I find a part of me prepared to produce work in a similar format. When creating comics, I wait for an image to appear as I talk to myself, encouraging creations, but when creating video, I search the work of other artists and amateurs. As a professional artist and amateur theorist I find myself deeply appreciating the Creative Commons. Both professional and amateur are treated with respect.
I am slipping down into a whole new world. I have disappeared down rabbit holes in the past. Marcia has shared with me her fear that I am about to disappear. I am enthralled. I foresee spending many hours searching for content on the Internet and shooting my own video in search of evocative examples of what my words are seeking to say. It’s only a matter of time before the words start to take their cues from the outside, not the inside, taking into consideration the images, sounds and music that I feel influenced by.
My words have always emerged from somewhere deep within me. What I’m sensing now is that my environment is about to start making words.