Advertising creatives forged contrary paths deliberately, as if to have an inventive mind you had to step outside the norm in lifestyle as well as in your profession.
How else do you wire you mind to see what others don’t see?
‘Our lives have become narrow enough. Our dreams strain to widen them, to bring to our waking consciousness the awareness of the greater discoveries that lie just beyond the limits of our sights. We must not force our poets to limits of our sights. We must not force our poets to limit the world any further. That is a crime against life itself. If the poet begins to speak only of narrow things, of things that we can effortlessly digest and recognise, of things that do no disturb, frighten, stir, or annoy us, or make us want to set sail and explore inklings murdered in our youths, if the poet sings only of our restricted language, then what hope is there for any of us in this world?’ Ben Okri
I feel confident to repeat what I expressed at the ‘Writer’s Group’ – that what is being produced is bland mud, that lacks colour.
SW and I want to push ourselves to go further, not fall back on the tame, lame, bland and sad offerings that the others have produced, as if copying the style of the most clichéd and trite book they have ever read is he way forward for them or anyone.
Those of us who want this are cowards, in flesh and in spirit. We fear heroic heights. We dread the recombining of the world, dread a greater harvest of being.
It is those who are scared of reality, of their own truths, of their own histories, those who are secretly sickened by what they have become, who are alarmed by the strange mask-like faces that peer back at them from the mirrors of time, it is they who resist the poetic.
Here again there is a call to reach out, reach in, to have nerve, to dare ourselves to be heroic, to offer something meaningful and new.
Again, pick this out because of the debate at GW – four menopausal ladies using hormone replacement therapy, sick relatives, divorce or old age to excuse their lack of nerve (or ability). They could achieve so much if they could be given a good shaking down … they are too frail, to stuck up, to fixed, to unmoveable, to ill, to reticent to move.
‘Poets be cunning. Learn some of the miracles. Survive. Weave your transformations in your life as well as in your work. Live. Stay alive. Don’t go under, don’t go mad, don’t let them define you, or confine you, or buy your silence. If they do confine you, burst out of their prisons with wilder fratricidal songs. Be a counter-antagonist, break their anti-myths. Where the enemies breed destructions, sow seeds of startling lights. Keep sowing. Time will reap. Weave your songs by whatever means you can’. Ben Okri
I’ve been ‘at it’ for twenty seven years this Christmas. I have, for this length of time, 324 months, been writing a diary, or writing stories. or essays, or articles … or something. Isn’t it about them that I made a proper living from it?