‘There is a moment, before I sit down to work, that I feel a very keen sense of empathy. It is from this, almost heartbreaking, point that words begin to flow.’ ~ Gabriela Blandy

The beauty of creative writing is seen in its power to awaken imagination, emotion and pathos – facets normally kept in check. Literature animates the soul in ways that often pales real time interaction, where social constraints require you and me to wear a mask. Sometimes those constraints are so prevalent we fail to relax even when we want to.

If you get a chance watch the movie, “Chocolat” with Juliette Binoche and Johnny Depp. It is not most brilliant film however, one scene calls my attention. It involves the protagonists taking each other in their arms to dance for the first time. Feeling the awkwardness of these initial steps toward intimacy, the woman (Juliette) begins to say something in order to soften her discomfort while her partner (Johnny) gently intercepts her words. He motions her to keep quiet by calmly lifting his hand to her lips exhaling a soft “shhhh”. The gesture may be fleeting, the subtext everlasting.

Silence is the forgotten realm, yet it is often the prerequisite to enjoying the present moment. As necessary as words may appear, sometimes they get in the way. ~ vincenzo ©

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Sometimes I involuntarily enter a state when childhood memories flash mutely onto the screen of my mind. I’m referring to the daydream variety. They usually pertain to common childhood scenes (sometimes even dreary), yet immersed in euphoric/sublime feelings. Sometimes I seek in vain to decipher the subtext of these powerful yet elusive flashes. Why they exist. How I can tap into their mystery.

This imaginative/ blissful realm is intimately connected to my artistic expression, because it ultimately involves the cultivation of self understanding.  As Casper David Friedrich says, “The painter should paint not only what he has in front of him, but also what he sees inside himself. If he sees nothing within, then he should stop painting what is in front of him.”

My favorite medium is mural painting where I combine the muted beauty of photo realism with the decorative boldness of zentangle.  My writing and my faith are also intimately connected to my artistic expression, but I will leave this topic for another time.*

~ vincenzo ©

This post has been revised. What I uploaded was taken from part of an email I wrote July 18, 2014 to a new cyber-friend in Panama.

“…her words were always like ready-made clothes, and never fitted individual thoughts. Anybody might have used them, and with a change of proper names, they might have served to describe any subject.” – Elizabeth Gaskell

The quote above may seem a small annoyance to some, but it portrays one of my greatest sources of distress. The beauty of an imaginative soul is the power to visualize vitality even when reality is insipid and cold. I shun doing anything in a run-of-the-mill way. It is not only what I express, but how I express it that matters. Whenever I give expression to something, I am compelled to give it full flight.

Creativity is a kind of viewfinder you carry with you wherever you go. Your artistic leanings cannot help but shape your outlook. Although muted, art has its own language, principles and codes. Therefore, if someone clothes an idea or belief in conventional/prosaic language, it may collide with your heightened sensitivity. It causes you to resist certain phraseologies and truisms that create cognitive dissonance not only to your readers or viewers, but inside yourself as well. Therefore for the artist, there are not only differences of content to consider, but expressions /styles as well. This diversity requires heavy doses of humility and self-examination.

~ vincenzo ©

Many write about their journey through anxiety and depression and there is nothing extraordinary about my story. When you plunge into the sea of despair, the world seems to forget you. You are sucked into the vortex of a dark downward spiral. And people keep asking you questions, but the kind you find irrelevant, so you no longer expect anyone to actually listen or care. And yet this is the nature of grace. It descends upon your cold and cynical heart when you least expect it.

~ vincenzo ©

The beauty of an imaginative soul is the power to visualize hope even when reality is insipid and cold. Some refer to this quality as faith. Sometimes all we have to sustain us is an inner belief that one day love and truth will prevail.

~ vincenzo ©

“Blow the candle out, I don’t need to see what my thoughts look like.”
― Émile Zola

When you place a compass in your car; you will discover the car has its own magnetic field. It’s not that the compass is not working, it’s just the instrument is being intercepted.

It’s the same way when it comes to accessing creativity. You are constantly having to work against the vortexes of the external world: appearances, standardization, evaluation, egoism, comparison, consumerism, competition, criticism and/or narcissism. In a world quick to offer endless ready-made ideas, products and services, imagination usually falls between the cracks of obtuse, stereotyped practices and habits.

~ vincenzo ©

staying tentative

staying tentative