Often, upon waking I have thoughts that seem grounded, logical and noteworthy, but when applied to laptop screen results in disjointed, confusing and sometimes bizarre writing. This morning, for instance, I awoke and the stop-start-pause-restart of my writing life seemed much comparable to Vincent Van Gogh staring in a mirror to paint himself sporting a bandage over his freshly lopped off ear and Ludwig Von Beethoven composing with his piano’s legs sawn off and flush on the floor so he could feel the vibration of the music in an attempt to replicate his failed hearing
As you might ascertain, I am feeling by turns tragic and pathetic about writing. Why my squirrely brain is conjuring a mentally ill Expressionist painter and a deaf composer, I have no idea. When I have no idea about a subject, I hit the Internet and Wickipedia. Today’s search uncovered knowledge that Vincent Van Gogh painted 37 self-portraits and Ludwig Von Beethoven’s temperament might have put Oscar the Grouch to shame. One of their common traits was a passionate drive to perfection hindered by illness, in Van Gogh’s case, acute mental illness and in Beethoven’s, as medical science discovered since his death by testing a lock of his hair, lead poisoning.
Another trait these two gifted and tragic individuals shared was the need to search, grow and mature in their craft. Every talent is shaped by outside influences. Van Gogh painted alongside Monet and Gaugin, Beethoven began his career as a pianist and composer under Hayden and Mozart. Artists absorb from the universe then filter, distill and translate that information through their art, whether by paint on stretched canvas, musical notes on pages of ledger bars, or words typed on a laptop screen.
My waking induced musings may never produce anything but disjointed, confusing and sometimes bizarre writing but is ranks with the common denominator shared by all artists since the birth of time. It is the human mind reaching for a way of expressing itself through God-given talent and striving to understand and be understood by the universe.