Welcome to my own sublime pathos.
Friedrich Schiller defined the term ‘sublime pathos’ as an expression of human freedom -of triumph- in spite of or because of suffering. It describes the act of creation as a result of pain and strife. For me, this has always seemed a truism and I feel the history of art and expression supports me in this belief.
Van Gogh, Beethoven, Tolstoy, Keats, Hemingway, Michelangelo and Dickens.
All were brilliant and exceptional, artists and writers and musicians without peer. All faced demons and tragedy and it was their ordeals which inspired them. Or maybe they created in spite of those same travails. In either case, their pain was fuel for their muse. In madness and misery they found transcendence.
We each experience our own brand of suffering and we each swallow it or we express it in some way. We use it. I suppose too often we catalog it and store it inside, forgetting what it teaches us instead of using it to achieve something more. I’ve have had my own brands of pain, my own flavors of misery. For too long I shuffled it aside. Or allowed it to consume my life.
I turned 39 recently and realized that I’d wasted years of my life and let my dreams and aspirations wither like grapes in the burning sun. Soon, anything I might refer to as ‘my time’ would have long since passed. I would have wasted the promise of youth that had been given to me and relegated myself to a life of entropy.
I’ve always felt I had tales within me, stories waiting to be told, to escape and be free. This manifested in my youth in a number of ways and these tales would consume me, devour hours and days all for the ecstasy of expressing that inner narrative. As I grew older, voices -both within and from without- silenced these tales until I was left with nothing but two worn notebooks that I would occasionally but explosively record notes in.
However, someone has recently re-entered my life and with all such new beginnings, something new may flourish. Even parched earth can give new blossom if tilled correctly. And so I’ve stretched atrophied muscles again; sore, but eager to be used. However, like muscles, writing is an activity that you must constantly engage in. You must exercise or you accomplish nothing.
So, I have taken steps to give myself as much literary exercise as possible. This blog is but one part of it. It will serve me as a repository for those ideas which may not directly contribute to my writings, a filter between story and raw thought. Perhaps what is said here will find a home in a story; perhaps not. But writing is not always about what is useful and valuable, but rather what is necessary. Writing -to me- is about what must be. What begs to be born.