It’s time I face it, folks.
I’m a control freak.
There, I said it.
My name is Kathy, and I’m a control freak–
Especially when it comes to creativity.
Now that I’m home in Kentucky and writing about my mental health history, I want to control the creative process, above all else. I want to make it what I think it should be, what I “know” it ought to be. I don’t like letting go, and the more I look back at my not-so-sane past, the more afraid I am of letting go, diving into the wreck, as Adrienne Rich would say.
At the beginning of the week I struggled, felt like I was slipping, losing my grip on the here and now, the sanity of this time, this place, break though symptoms my doctor calls them.
Two things happen that are warning signs for me. First, my legs shake uncontrollably. And second, I hear a sing-song chorus of children’s voices—rhyming words senselessly—no meaning—only sound.
Since both were happening this week, I’ve been afraid.
Afraid, especially, to go to the creative space that’s deep inside and difficult, even dangerous, to get to—since it’s the same place the voices live.
—a place that’s real and rich, saturated with sound and syntax—a place swimming with creative gifts—where words live, copulate and reproduce.
But when I don’t go there, then “there” begins spilling into here, into now—and I don’t know how to stem the tide—untangle the words, the jumble that happens in translation.
So, going “there” becomes essential, becomes both an artistic and mental health imperative.
There’s no avoiding it.
And there’s no way out but in.