Courtney S. Barr

Welcome to My Kingdom!
Join me, the Princess, on my Royal Adventures in the Land of Writing!

Monday, May 28, 2007

Working on the list... "the girl with the nice view of the world"

I wandered this weekend into my mind. Stopping to dredge up memories, ideas, dreams that I seem to have placed in little holes, crevices & niches of my mind's eye. I found that there were numerous areas shoved in between expansive blank & dull landscapes. It seems as though I have allowed a large percentage of myself to become flat. Those areas that I chose to visit have curves, hills, sharp edges, steep declines, impressive degrees of color & activity, yet they are outnumbered & so small by comparison of the flat areas. The flat appears to be what I have let myself become: almost devoid of the imagination & creativity that I used to proudly display to all who were around. Visiting the flat areas made me angry. This is what I let happen. This is what I gave that part of me up for? Flat, robotic, tired, mentally strung because I forgot how to bring her in and let myself find that creative outlet, to let my heart & mind breathe. Stupid, I know.

I mentioned in an entry before that one of the top things to do this summer is to discover the girl in me who used to have a nice view of the world. Well to do that I have to take a look at where I left her, why I left her, and why I want to find her.

Well I left her nowhere in particular, I found she is hidden in every sliver, every canyon, every incline or decline of space negative & positive, every color & activity that is left around, above & beside the flat areas. It is almost like she is afraid to walk that flat expanse. She sees it as a threat, a possibility that she may lose something so precious if she steps onto that dull area. For her there is no blade sharper or more dangerous than bleakness. Well I left her due to what I cowardly called necessity. I convinced myself that she was something that had to be left in order to progress or should only be brought out for the most technical & clinical uses, how stupid was I? Believing that she could not fit in with the flat areas, creating her fear because of my insecurities, pushing her away. Never truly being ashamed, but felt that she was not ready or mature enough for the new areas; again, how stupid was I? I did not have the confidence in that version of me to be able to stand out amongst this new set of peers. People who have not known me my whole life, people who have not known my family, people who have not overlooked the flaws due to knowing me for so long from the beginning to present. These new people would have fresh, harsh opinions, based solely on the products/images I create or just on the outward me. No longer would I have that net of cushioning. I did not have faith in my abilities or even in the search to develop those abilities. How sad I made her; now I began to understand this inward depression that has been taking over me for the last year. She was so excited & bubbly before the wedding, because I let her out. I opened myself back up to that creative outlook that imaginative creature that has been with me since birth. She was there when I would sit in a wheelbarrow outside my bedroom window with a book of Shakespeare or Byron or Dickinson when society says R.L. Stine or Bloom or Alcott should have been my only reading option due to my young age. Oh, Stine was there, to thrill & scare, to get my adrenaline pumping and to begin to respect 'young adult' reading while I was already enjoying the thrills 'adult' literature. Alcott was there, she actually helped this part of me, she made me understand so many of life's complexities with the written word, Alcott made me want to be a writer. Shakespeare & Byron taught me the tragedies of love, of greed, & of want at such a young age. I acted out each with more passion & conviction than I ever should have possessed. I never was prejudiced against any author, playwright, poet, wordsmith of any kind; they all possessed what I worshipped: a separate world, a different view, an escape. Sure I played with the usual toys, only my Barbie's story lines were a bit complex. My outdoor swingset was not just metal, it was stones that protected some precious land that I had been chosen by destiny to save or it was a castle where murder, mystery, & cunning evolved.
This other part of me helped in creating villages & towns in my mind as I sat beneath a huge pecan tree with just a piece of paper, pencils, and a pillow. She made me want to see a picture of something simple like a flower & analyze the complexity of color & hue. As I got older she helped me have the courage to draw things so detailed, to choose subjects way beyond my talents but still to try. She helped me narrate stories about those I loved, those I dreamed of and those I still don't know where they came from. She gave me passion for life. She made me TRULY believe the fairytales: both dark & light. Belief. Hope. Passion. Sensitivity. She envelopes those attributes & brings them full circle on a dull day. She is what had helped me to escape the bleakness, and here I went and let the bleakness smother her. I want her back to bring 'balance back to the force.' Seriously the energy that I found when I took time for her, gave me peace, made me like the world, made me look at things less cynically. I find that cynic is not a vocabulary word that I like. I appreciate its descriptive nature, but on the whole, I don't like it anywhere near a description of myself. Now that I discovered all this...the next steps will be intimidating like never before. Its time I brought her back, let her voice be heard. Scary. She has been silent or at least softspoken for quite sometime now, I hope she has the strength to have the faith.

During this 'travel' I am discovering that I have let myself do things that take away from her gifts. I have always been told that you must practice your abilities & surround yourself with things that explore them not diminish. I am solely at fault for allowing the outside to corrupt rather than inspire. The flat areas that are here should not be areas to fear but areas to invade. I don't want to fear the bleakness, but mold it, utilize it for the strengths that it possesses. For I have found that in all the terrifying pieces of flat area there can be a calmness, a reserve when she needs one, a brief respite that does not pressure her, but provides a new canvas. THIS part of the bleakness should be welcomed, the flaky, thin bleakness that at a moment's notice can be molded into a hill, a valley or a rushing river searching for the spillway into the expansive ocean where thoughts mingle & meld. It discovers depths, shallows, currents, & calmness with a ferocious growl that smoothes out into another river only to start all over. This journey will not be a quick one, one decision will not bring her back or help me expand her truths immediately, but EACH decision will bring her inches forward, no, yards forward from where she has sat docile & waiting for me to wake up. Maybe this time, her voice will be loud & strong when strength is needed & soft and caressing when desired. No matter what she says, it is always worth listening to the most precious part of my soul.

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