Introspection on Creative Tensions

Introspection on Creative Tensions

Ripples on a calm surface.

A deep lake perhaps. But whether caused by raindrops or tears, I just can’t tell.

Sometimes it seems as though a meteor may have been involved. The surface then is anything but calm.


In important aspects my life has centered on unresolved tensions between self-control and brief, sometimes tragic flights of fanciful freedom, all in a context too fluid to provide a predictive basis for either.

My “escapades” lead me to places and times where suddenly, as though waking from a “hangoverish” opacity superimposed over indistinct memories I require crystalline lucidity. Startled, I, fervently hope that the words somehow flowing from my mouth have at least a touch of rationality. They usually do although I’m not sure just how. That can be very unsettling. It’s as though I’d been driving and daydreaming and then, suddenly, totally focused as I’d just avoided a serious accident. Terror and relief sharing the same instant.

On the other hand, those same escapades provide the creative spark I treasure, that part of me I most love, the part which, on special occasions, rare though they may be, provides cascades of irrepressible elation, generating inspiration sufficient for the more tedious, boring and controlled parts of life, permitting me to mold the dewdrops of literature and shades of artistry to which both parts of me aspire.

My escapades are usually preceded in emotive analogies to swelling rivers by curiosity as to where life’s tides and ebbs and eddies might lead me if I just followed their flow. Probably because I’m not all that happy at the time, and, over in some other pasture, the grass seems oh so verdant.

I wonder just how I’ve managed to survive, how I’ve become the person I am and whether any guiding source has been involved. I wonder about destiny, a concept for which I feel deep ambivalence. I strive for humility but flights of fancy frequently lead me elsewhere. On the other hand, not infrequently, I find the opinions others hold about me far kinder than my own. I dislike the lack of humility in anyone but most of all in me yet wonder whether I confuse that with fear of honesty, all the while knowing that the labyrinths I construct prevent me from really knowing who and what I am.

I’m usually effective at exerting self-discipline although more often than not, barely in the nick of time. Except, of course, when I don’t, … and then, …

What was the name of that roller coaster at Palisades Park, way back when?

© Guillermo Calvo Mahé; Manizales, 2015; all rights reserved