Something that’s truly original must have something unplanned about it. Something that couldn’t have been predicted. Something that couldn’t have been controlled. Something that couldn’t even have been wholly imagined from the start, since that’s what originality is — something heretofore unimaginable. These are the qualities that make it unusual, that make it special. And fascinating, and difficult to place.
They are also the same qualities by which the original resists being owned. As a creation the original comes as an inadvertent and incalculable gift, not merely as a product of effort or ego. The truly original is beyond “practice,” because practice does not require openness, nor does it require surrender.
To allow the original to happen is to take a step back. To fade previously held notions and ideas into the background, to make space. To forget the ego, the control just enough to allow some other voice or vision to speak clearly, without noise.
You can not have originality, can not nurture originality, can not embody it in any part, can not hope for it, can not strive for it, can not hold it, can not truly value it, can not prize it, yet also expect to hang on to old ideas for dear life.
Interrupted or intercepted, its quality becomes disorganized and eventually lost in confusion. But fear will simply neutralize the offering.
This is why the original is available to anyone, but few accept what they would take instead of a blessing, for a curse. Or at least a liability, not worth the risk.
We could be more brave.
This was taken from scraps. Cutouts produced incidentally while creating other black and white paper designs, extras tossed aside in the moment: the true first negative space of those projects, their waste, their remainder. Sifted through the pile of odd shapes belonging nowhere, randomly assorted without purpose. Four pieces chosen quickly, without thinking and no plan, without altering them further in any way, and within minutes assembled together and pasted up this leaning figure. Looks like a lot of things to me but speaks like an example.
Urging to make significant or even delicious more of those elements in us and in the world so easy to reject, to cast out, to trample on, or to simply pass by. Art and poetry are not luxuries but necessities for this reason. To allow the unattended or just what looks like refuse to be seen and voiced and appreciated rather than tossed a token now and again, hardly a crumb. The expendable, impractical, unnecessary – yours and mine too. With poetry especially we have a marginalized form expressing the marginalized in apt communion. To celebrate mystery, quiet amidst the noisy, or to place the unwanted or left behind because are we not all neglected or forgotten in some way and do we not all feel this. To serve the imperfect, the difficult, the unsavory or troublesome, even the scary at times. Our beauty does not exclude these flaws in a culture pretending to disown their existence.
What nobody would detect or consider without looking very, very, closely – art changing our minds about what’s beautiful and worthy, what we’re capable of discerning. Not just a world in which we consume choice fragments of one another relentlessly and treat ourselves so, but a hunger for the whole range and process of a more private experience admired, an intelligence beyond the conspicuous so that every day just a little bit, even just a little to be able to show up and not be afraid to look further. Since it’s the not looking – hiding – that’s more dangerous.
— And since culture’s infinitely richer than it could possibly be credited in any given moment — momentarily magnificent or bewildered or painfully plain. So are we.
Let me whisper. Let me bring these words to you, let them turn yellow then purple like light diffusing through polluted air. In a sound of voice I long to hear and embrace floats near me. Connect these words in us through this space, not by chains of past offenses identity crises and grievances. Let them feel comforting and welcomed, not as wounds, feel like birds at dawn singing through cold air or a bell tower carillon drop notes over chaotic streets on the way home from work in the evening. Let these words mean nothing, let them be nothing, let them exist for no indisputable purpose or explicit reason, yet not be treated as meaningless. Let them not be crowded out with opinions, nor create such crowds. What makes such opinions more meaningful?
What if I have no history anymore. What if I claim nothing. These words have tongue in them, lips, lungs, I want for them to not be pushed to sting. Let me kiss with them. Let me exist with you as if there were nobody else before us, and nobody to jump down our throats after. I have slept with these words when hungry, when lonely, now let these words take company. Let these words be a place to land, not just a springboard to and from troubles, not as an opiate either but a place to be fearlessly awake together. Let these words be a world that’s not too smart for romance. Enough views crowd us one after another, it’s blinding. If we come from nowhere beyond this moment, if only by sound we could touch these screens delicate as paper, what if.
Your voice alone is wonderful to me. Carillon notes blending and separating over rivers inside sending little messages barely heard, grow more resonant. I long to hear beauty instead of these arguments. Then these words will not chase you down, will not hunt you. For truly I long for you and for no opinion. I long to hear words exist less for the purpose of proofs, divisions, violence, information. Thus let their intelligence here stake no claim. Let these words be unimportant yet significant. Be available and abundant. Let them be valuable.