Ink

This is something I wrote six years ago while ago sitting in a coffee shop on 8th avenue. I posted it the last time I had a blog, about a million years ago. It’s kind of strange but it represents how I feel about the creative process.

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Procrastination. I write the word out slowly and carefully in a beautiful cursive script. I trace it again on top pondering over each letter. I go over it again. And again. When I’m finished I underline the word. Then I draw a box around it. Then I draw a box around the box. I shade in both boxes leaving the word itself intact. I try to stop there but my pen stays firmly connected to paper.

My pen keeps moving.

My pen keeps moving and has a life of it’s own, a spirit, a destiny. The ink spreads over the blank page like a disease, like cancer, reaching it’s bony fingers to every nook, every cranny, every tiny bit of white space till there is none left. It moves independent of my thoughts, independent of my hand, independent of that part of the brain moving the hand. It carries me with it. It cannot stop moving. It runs out of space on the page, but that burning hunger is still there, it moves onto the table underneath the page. It scratches the lacquered surface as it goes. The pen will not stop. It starts to move faster and faster replacing the light brown surface with one that is scraped blue. The pen must go on. The wall, the ceiling and the floor are next. The pen must not stop.

I try, oh believe me I do try to take back control, to reclaim my authority. I try not to give in as my body trails the pen across the floor of my hardwood living room, through the dining room and into the bedroom. My knees are scraped and every bare part of my body is stained blue as I keep going and going. The pen is the master now. I scramble to keep up, my body burning in pain from the friction of trying to slide and scramble across the floor. As it goes through the bedroom door the pain is becoming unbearable, I want to peel my whole body off, shed the load, shed the burden. At the foot of my bed it stops.

It is out of ink.

I stare at it and using my hand gently try and move the pen. It will not give in at first, clinging onto the last vestiges of the power it had over me. And then finally it surrenders.

I put it down flat on my palm, stroking the smooth outer covering gently then turning it round and round in my now blue palms. Sighing I try to stand. At first I’m not sure that I can, my knees don’t seem to have the strength. And then, using my dresser as support I rise gingerly. I walk across the blue hardwood floors, those blue chemicals permeating the skin on my heels and my toes the most. I reach the kitchen table where my page lies still, just where I left it. I can no longer read the word “Procrastination”. I move away from the page towards the trashcan nearby, and I toss the pen away.

March 27, 2004

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