Thursday, August 02, 2007

ah, there it is

I haven't written in about a month. Well, that's not true. I have written tidbits here and there but nothing with any energy or daimon attached.

As soon as I finished class I picked up a book by Oscar Hijuelos. "A Simple Habana Melody" seemed perfect. The last few weeks I've been listening to couple of hours of latin jazz and classic salsa on Trinity University's radio station. It's actually replaced my church going (in a good way) and reminded me of my consistent love of music and its history and origins. It's good to get back to all this.

But I wondered why I haven't had this incredible desire to write and, to be honest with myself, I'm missing that regular expression of being in community with others and of being with someone. I don't think it's a bad thing that I like to write "in relation" with others - with their energy present even if I wish I was one of those broody writers who are alone for hours and sigh deeply while debating life's future. And they write magnificently (most).

I did find an incredible passage in Hijuelos' book, just as I'd found many that motivated me in "The Mambo Kings Play Songs of Love". It spoke to my own lack of desire for creating art:

... there existed within him a numbness to feeling? This disheartened Levis (the central character), for without emotion there would never be music, and without music his life would be a living death.

So it happened that without intending to the composer sank into a deep state of apprehension... he could not imaginethe point of his continuing existence. In those moments, as he went driving through the streets of that splendid city [Havana], he truly believed that he would never compose another piece of music again - not a tango nor a bolero nor a lyric opera nor another zarzuela, not even another simple Habana melody - as he once often did with effortless control.

Israel Levis, returning from the concentration camps during WWII, to his native Habana, could not wake up that part of him that worked to create music.

I'm not being fatalistic (even if it sounds that way) but not being creative is the definition of not living (for me).

I'm working now to wake up that part of me.

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