February 21, 2009

Creation and the Lamictal High


-Barbara Einzig-

The moon rises, a vengeance on anguish,
on my own arrogant privacy.
The hands of sleepwalkers,
of their own accord, rise, follow.

The ponderability of daily fatigue-
on wings consciousness runs wild,
transparent creations are flying,
they've heard the reflection of the moon.

It flickers cold, stingy,
not promising anything,
draws out of me distant art,
demands my agreement.

Can the torture and charm of its omens
be fought down, overcome,
can I make out of moonlight
a heavy, tangible object?

Having taken my pills, (a very high dosage of Lamictal, trileptal, and a normal dose of bcp,) and settled myself down to bed, I did the things I normally try to do to calm myself down after another day of breathing, I meditated and read a poem. This day was especially difficult because I was attempting to recover from a horrible cold, and I was also extremely worn down after having been at school for like 12 hours. So, as I was meditating my mind wasn't really slowing down, but instead fluttering more and more. When I finally stopped after about twenty minutes I realized that I should have taken my medicine until after the meditation process because I was really loopy and felt as though I had just had a night of heavy drinking. It was in this mix of exhaustion, frustration, and lack of mind coordination that I began having an amazing drive towards creativity and some form of inspiration. This however was not working out because I could hardly pull myself out of bed let alone make sense, so I went on with the night process and opened my current poetry book to a random page where I found none other then Ms. Einzig's Sleepwalkers.

Now, I don't know if I was just really loopy and read it one way and can never read it differently again, but all I can think about is creativity and inspiration, and how they always seem to come when I can't handle them, or can't do much of anything with them. I read it thinking "can I make out of moonlight a heavy, tangible object?" I was thinking why, why does creativity come when you don't want it? When all you want to do is go to sleep after a really freaking long day, or when all you are allowed to do is the never ending pile of work before you? I feel like it goes by the same rules as finding a lover: people whine and complain and go out to bars trying to pick someone up, but everybody knows that as soon as you stop looking you'll find them. Bam. Here's the perfect man you've been looking for. I suppose I could go even further and say that when I really didn't want a boyfriend I happened to realize that the man of my dreams was not only interested in me, but also moving half way across the country from me. But we all know how that ended up, Happily Ever After. (Thanks Josh.) So now maybe me and my creativity/inspiration will settle our differences and produce beautiful little creations. And maybe next time I will leave my computer next to my pillow to write that great poem, or play, or ideal piece of literature that I have been harboring deep down in some cavernous hole in my psyche only to be exposed through meditation and lots and lots of lamictal. I'll let you know what happens.

1 comment:

Barbara Einzig said...

Hello, I am Barbara Einzig, and I'm writing you under a full moon.

"Sleepwalkers" is a poem I translated from the Russian, and it was written by one of the great Russian poets of the 20th century, Bella Akhmadulina. I met the poet in New York in the 90s.

Bella is quoted as saying that the only reason that a poet writes poems is because there is no alternative. She was beautiful, concise, distilled, and her face was shaped like the moon.