Thursday, July 29, 2010


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 write.

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.


  1. You take care, okay? I'm with you all the way. We are both super and super-natural xxx

  2. Hooray for separating your identity from the imperfections of your body, especially the chemical imbalance. I know how marginal my control is in those areas, so find it's best if I see myself as independent of how I look and feel, including all those species-perpetuating urges. I like how you define writing as independent of the genetic rat race; it does rise above, doesn't it?

    As for what we get in life, well, it's a mixed bag, right? The crap and the diamonds, but crap can fertilize roses, and diamonds are just rocks to people who don't know their worth.

    You always have the best posts, MJ. Thanks for sharing your thoughts from the trenches.

  3. It takes a lot of strength to share your weakness and to let others share in it with you. Getting up and moving forward without knowing the 'why' is what makes us strong. We (your faithful readers) are better people because of you. Thank you for releasing yourself to us.

  4. Darlin', if biology was the measure of a person, I'd have been tossed out with the bathwater long ago. Brain chemistry has nothing on the spirit, the spark of my MJ.

    You mean the world to a whole lot of people. Those who don't recognize it (and that includes you on occasion, my sweet) can answer to me.

    I adore you.

    - Liz