I have a rejection email from a magazine submission. I rarely submit poetry and with work, life, education, and with my schedule being the way it is, I rarely send out poetry submissions at all.
However, the idea of rejection or that my submission was withdrawn stuck with me. First and foremost, they believed my submissions were fiction, which couldn’t be further from the truth. I make it a point that everything I write about is real or true —or at minimum, everything I write about is real or true to me.
It amazes me though, what people find moving or inspiring. It amazes me the way people interpreted the written word and the difference between the outside interpretation and my personal intention. I can write about a blue sky, birds chirping, all is well, and with no reply; I feel all alone. But yet, when I write about the dark times or the nights when I was in a basement, scared as ever, drugs in my veins or hate in my heart; the world is all interested and sees this as inspiring.
Is this what inspires people?
I was thumbing through some of my older thoughts and came across a few of my poems. Eventually, I will leave them here because if nowhere else in the world, this place is the place where my writing belongs.
Art is subjective; existing in the mind or belonging to the subject and not the object of thought. I get that, But my art, subjective or not is personal. And it has to be otherwise it wouldn’t be art.
I’m not sure what art is to anyone else. I only know what it means to me. I know why I started to write. I know that not everyone appreciates the color yellow —but yet, the color yellow still exists.
Or maybe there are people that would never wear the color green, or red, but neither color considers the opinion. Instead, the color remains to become above all things, undeniable, without emotion or apology, which is the way I want to be.
As I see it this is the only way to survive in a mainly objective world. I started writing a long time ago for no other reason than to survive. I found that writing helped me have the words I could never say. So I wrote them down instead of speaking to find a way to make sense.
I found my voice here. I found an outlet. I took on the subjects that crippled me most and found a way to free myself. And that my friend is what art is all about.
I wanted to turn words into pictures. I wanted to create thought. I wanted to write to help myself feel or to express the things I could never say.
Even my fiction is real, which is why I have a compilation of work that I call Real Fiction because it is fiction, but then again, none of this was fiction or is fictional.
No, everything I write or write about is true. Then again, this brings out the argument whether truth is subjective or objective, which is why I go back to the idea that if nothing else, at least everything I write about is true to me.
Sometimes I just write to write. Sometimes I write to heal. Sometimes I write to help me to reach a dream of mine.
Sometimes I write to visit a memory. Sometimes I write to jump-start my day. Other times, I just write because there was a promise made to myself that I would do this every day, no matter what, from now until the hour of my death.
Sometimes I write to give myself life. Other times I write to give myself sight. Or, from the other perspective, I write to take away the visions I have seen.
Either way, critics or not, rejection or not; I made a commitment, which I have kept as sacred as the terms of The Holy Mary, Mother of God. I keep this as my yin and the yang, the serpent and the apple, the dawn of man, Genesis, Buddha, or kept as awe-inspiring as the words from the book, The Bhagavad Gita, which says, I am the beginning, middle, and the end of all creation. Therefore no one can reject me but me.
I think back to the famous words from a man that came from nothing and turned his life around to be one of the best writers and film makers of our time.
Bobby Moresco said, “You can always do what you love to do. This doesn’t mean anyone is going to pay you to do it. But no one can ever stop you.”
I have been trying to perfect my trick for a long time now. I’m not sure how many hours I’ve spent on this. I’ve had to go back to the drawing board a few times, —that’s for sure.
I’ve had to change my plans and change my design. I’ve also had to change the way I view the differences between achievements and failure.
Besides, what’s achievement?
And who is to say what failure is if one man’s failure is another man’s success.
I have had to come to the understanding that the fact that I am still here, still going, still writing, and still approaching a new subject each day is more than just an achievement—accepted or rejected, the fact that we continue down our path is not just an achievement but more so, I say this is heroic. And it’s okay to be your own hero. In fact, I say you have to be sometimes.
I’m not sure if there is or is not an end game to all of this, and nor am I sure if there needs to be. All I know is the day I allow anyone or anything to stop me from creating is the same day I have allowed someone or something to stop me from being me.
I can’t have that.
The day I allow someone to steal my smile is the same day I have allowed someone to steal me.
This is why it is not about the outcome; it’s about the output because no matter what, bitched and complained, hurt or healthy, I have never allowed anyone or anything to stop me from being me.
This idea means the world to me. This means my focus is based solely upon my output and not on the outcome. There is only effort. There is only energy. Outcome is beyond my control; therefore, if this is what I want to do then this is what I have to do.
I cannot spin this any other way. I cannot allow myself to be distracted or deterred. all I can do is keep my schedule and never allow anything to come between us.
There are lucky ones out there, which is not say that I am not lucky, myself; however, there are those that were simply in the right place at the right time.
I don’t know what this means for me nor do I know if this means anything at all. All I know is this thing I have created is too big for me to walk away from. This is me. This is my child and my creation. This is my voice and my art. There are times when this is my only truest friend, here for me without judgement. How could I walk away from something so meaningful? Or better yet, why would I want to?
Billy Joel sung a song with the words, “Someday we’ll all be gone but lullabies go on and on. They never die. That’s how you and I will be.”
I agree. Therefore, I say these are my words. This is my lullaby, and for as long as I live, none of this will ever die. Even after I have gone, this is how you and I both shall live