I have been repeatedly tortured by my own body lately. I have been subjected to horrible emotions and harrowing pain -- to say nothing of the psychological distress and symptoms of depression. I did not come to the blog today to moan and seek sympathy. I'm not a seeker of sympathy anyway. I therefore won't divulge here what has led to all of this spiritual and physical angst, but I will say that it is connected to a fundamental biological process. (I think those lines are wide enough to read between, so I'll leave it there for you.)
Because it's a biological process to blame for all of this anger and bewilderment and helplessness, it is perfectly natural. I am no different than those of my fellow humans who do extraordinary things just to secure love, or a safe place to live, or a steady paycheck to ensure that life and health can be maintained. Most things we do as human beings have perfectly logical and completely natural origins.
I think about those times when I feel ravaged and taken advantage of by my own instincts and biological issues. I think how helpless I am to the commonality of being human, and how a crying fit can be attributed to little more than an abnormal cascade of hormones. I wonder why some people are blessed with so much -- pretty faces, genetically superior bodies, incredible intelligence -- and some are given so little by the stroke of genius or madness that determines these things.
And then I think about the one thing I have, the one thing I do, that escapes proper biological or evolutionary excuse.
I do not do this for the sake of my body or the advancement of my DNA. I do not do this to make my habitat more secure, or make those people I hold dear safer and more prosperous. I do not do it, obviously, to put bread on my table (since I have no sincere hope that this will be a lucrative occupational endeavor).
Why do I do this? Why does any of us, if it is not an evolutionary imperative? Why did the first cave-dweller glance up at the walls of the cave and decide to commemorate that day's hunt in crude, but recognizable and oddly graceful, stick drawings? What compels us to create?
I don't know the answer to the question (even though I suspect there's a nugget of the Divine in the resolution), but lately, just being able to ask it refreshes me and keeps me from the worst of the despair. I am not just a natural creature, cursed to roam the world, live, and die without anything greater being done. Like all my fellow artists of all stripes and types, I am super-natural.