It is the creative potential itself in human beings that is the image of God. – Mary Daly
The music maundered in about 11pm, dressed as a meditation on clouds, in multiple parts. A piece of music that had also been clamouring for my attention for a number of weeks was captured in a sound wave; I’m happy I could finally trap it. Making space for it is key.
I am chiefly a guitarist, but started learning keys about three years ago. I like to return to it because compositionally it is so different to the usual language I speak. It’s like switching from English to German – it has the same roots but everything is laid out differently and the character of the sound is completely different. My only real skill with piano is knowing what sounds nice and being able to find it again, most of the time, but also having acceptance around my misspoken phrases. Tuned intervals sound pleasant (regardless of their arrangement) to my ears, which are very tolerant of discord. I trust my hands to take me to what I’m thinking about, eventually.
I am constantly relearning how to direct my adult thought-life away from treacherous and fearful bogs that impede creative flow, and I had to wrestle my brain down again today, by being still and in the world, in connected solitude. I noticed today that it took me a long time to begin to anthropomorphise the clouds above me, a favourite activity of mine surely shared by all children… so distracted was I by my clanging thoughts. I felt the familiar distance from myself, even though I am still, myself.
I remember fascinated hours spent discovering the people animals plants tensions dramas shapes words fantasies coming to life and shifting and morphing and dying away in the clouds, feeling made of the world but not part of it. It didn’t make sense to me that God was a guy that lived in the clouds, something a friend had told me. I looked and thought, but clouds have their own very interesting and important thing going on. I think God is somewhere else.
I was a solitary child, with a very private inner life that no one was invited to share in. I didn’t live close my own skin. I remember enjoying my own company, for the most part, because I could lose myself in fascination and fantasy and not ever somehow be ‘not good enough’. I am grateful for time I spent alone, making my own mistakes and leading myself in and out of trouble, living my private little life. I developed a firm trust in my own capability, even though that has been betrayed by various circumstances out of my control across my adult life. I continue to have to make peace with this, but this effort is its own reward.
It was time alone when I got to choose what shaped me, and those moments have stayed with me; not fun with friends or parties or gifts or holidays, but time I was truly alone, physically alone. That’s where I return to most when I look back in time. Solitude has always been important for me, because I don’t have to perform for any reason other than my own amusement, giving myself the time to follow down the rabbit hole of endless thought-experimentation, instead of trying to navigate relationships and get my needs met.
I think the clouds are inviting me to remember myself. I am not sure how I will present this body of work, but I trust that it will reveal itself when the time is right.