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crisis to confidence

I was corresponding recently with a far away friend --- a dear fellow creative and writer who once won my heart with a sonnet. Our paths crossed a few months ago at an Irish Pub in Barcelona. In the rare occurrence of being out at night by myself in a bustling city, an evening that began with vegan tapas and margaritas stretched until 4am, alter ego in full form. And so the wily artist / writer who belongs only to me and still socially smokes (but only in Europe after 2 drinks) dove into a fun-seeming group of strangers by hip hop & candlelight.

Not long into the evening I began pelting people with philosophical questions, followed by "intuitive" character analyses with a bit of maternal concern that manifests in all shapes of unsolicited life advice. The English & Irish expats there graciously obliged, teasing my accent and laughing at the proclamation that I am English and Irish as well (because I'm obviously American).

What followed inspired a reflection I have only recently begun to recognize as universally cyclical. So I wrote this to him and enjoyed what came out. And now I'm sharing it with you.


The need for existential reevaluation and reset seems, for creatives especially, necessary (and perhaps unavoidable) in cycles. For me it goes something like this:

  1. New information or revelation

  2. Disequilibrium/million questions/crisis of the soul

  3. Retreat & incubate

  4. Exhaust every mental faculty (monkey with rubiks cube)

  5. KO'd by life and all beyond my control

  6. Surrender to all that is unresolved

  7. Remember that most discomfort is lack of acceptance for what is true

  8. Reemerge a changed person, with newfound confidence in the realization that no experience (inner or actual) is as interminable as it seems during steps 1 - 4

  9. Rinse and repeat

From that turmoil bleeds art, and there will be casualties. Such is the creative process with all its gnashing and thrashing. And as they say, "may the bridges I burn light the way."


PS. After a fun evening of meeting interesting new people, staying up too late and spilling Guiness into the lap of my only pants, I woke up the next day laughing, showered and bought new clothes just in time to catch a plane home, with all irreplaceable treasures collected along the way lost between Florence & Barcelona (thanks Vueling Airlines).

Soon I'll head back very briefly for work, play and to fight with Vueling properly because apparently my bag is still there at the airport. Beyond that, I look forward to the types of conversations with strangers that happen in these divine intersections, at random intervals and apart from the dailiness of life which typically leaves, with its anxieties, little room for such spontaneity.

Stay tuned ... the waves are churning at Nazare.


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