Thursday, 21 July 2022

Delay making new works until inspiration takes

The past week or so has been complicated by a very bad back, on Tuesday I saw my GP who said it was quite common for the muscles in the lower back to spasm. He gave me a script for muscle relaxants, which I filled at the local chemist here near my home, at which time the woman working in the shop had concerns about issuing the drug because she made a point of coming to the front desk where I was waiting to ask what they were for. I told her I had a sore back and she was relieved.

The pills have worked to a certain degree but I am still a bit tender down there, and getting up out of a chair is a task. It’s been two days since I started taking the pills and my doctor said in our consultation that I should be fine after a day or two. 

On the creative front my tentativeness due to the back problem is evident in how I put off making new paramontages. On Thursday morning I planned out a new one using a poem written in 2020 around the time I was homeless due to moving house. To go with this sonnet I had photos from a shoot done in 2009 when I met with University of New South Wales students who’d built a solar car. In fact I’d been given a commission back then to do a story for a magazine but what I shot with my camera weren’t in the end used with the story on the website.

The theme of the sonnet is technology and so to go with the photos of the electric car I identified images taken while watching TV in May and June this year. I keep notes in a folder to help my memory when it comes time to making a paramontage, and I sketched down the names of some folders where the files are located. This information will help me when the time comes for me to find the inspiration needed to do the work.

Feeling frail because of the back pain that had diminished but that still lingered in aches when I moved I put off doing the work. Most of the time the work is done before dawn at a time when I am free of distractions and interruptions, but sometimes I also work in the afternoon if I find the urge building to get it done. I obey my instincts, something that for most people is hard as they work in offices where managers tell them how to go about their labours, or else they’re responding to customer orders.

Working in an office it’s impossible to do the kind of work I enjoy so much nowadays, I remember being berated by a manager for lingering over a task, the recollection of those days is bitter and I don’t dwell on my feelings of inadequacy, feelings that remain despite the passage of a decade’s time. 

It’s not strange how such thoughts intrude on my consciousness and I reward them by giving in to emotions they raise. Do we become used to resentment at the expense of other, more useful, emotions, or else is resentment – usually so destructive, especially when it arises in the public sphere – potentially useful if it’s channelled into constructive activities like making art or writing?

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