Too Much Inspiration

23 01 2011

Could there really be such a thing? 

Without a doubt. Especially when faced with menial tasks, such as cleaning the house. It seems my inspiration likes to peak at these times just to challenge me, as if it had signed a treaty with the more domestic side of my personality. Bastards!

I am living proof that you can have too much inspiration. Our house is currently undergoing a post-construction deep cleaning. With no privacy, I had to get out. So I took Roxy for a walk, and on the way, I had ideas for three blog entries. This being one and one each for two other blogs I am attempting to get off the ground. Being that I am giving this writing thing a go, I’ve GOT to follow through on all of them…tonight. Sleep? It’s cheap, when you’re not working.

Here’s the thing about inspiration though: it can be a bit like an ecstasy high, once you blast through all your serotonin, there’s a crash and until your brain builds it back up you remain a hair inconsolable. Thus, so exist the cycles that make creative endeavors so catalyzing (when you’re up) and frustrating (you get it).

Man (sorry to jump) isn’t it great though when it hits? It’s like you’re directing connections with a seventh sense; synapses in a stellar brain cosmos connect and fire with the point of your finger, and it then it gets so good you don’t even have to point, or barely even think it. The magic happens.  You don’t worry about whether people will like it, or get it…until later.

“Art is making something out of nothing and selling it.” That’s my favorite thing Frank Zappa ever said. I imagine when he said that, he was far past the place of caring what most people thought about what he did (as long as they paid for it!). One thing I do know about Zappa is that he didn’t take his fans for granted. He knew the number of records they bought would largely dictate the budget for his next record and thus the ambitious range it could contain (though I admit it’s against nature to imagine Zappa limiting himself creatively).

Here’s a clip of Zappa on Letterman talking about how he went about getting the London Symphony Orchestra to play his music for an album, and why he probably wouldn’t be doing that again any time soon (the video quality is bad, but the sound is pretty good):

Zappa was an anomaly. He not only had a steady stream of inspiration his entire productive life, he had the intelligence to translate it for his band members, the technical knowhow to bring it to the public himself, the experience to know when to tell the industry to go fuck itself (which was, and remains, often), and the balls to do it all.

It’s a powerful thing, this ethereal commodity, without which all our lives would be emptier, darker, colder. Even those who never get to experience it firsthand at all, who never get to feel their heart about to explode because they can’t get it out fast enough. Those of us who do get to bathe in that rush, that godly deluge…man, we are a lucky bunch.

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