Often, as a creator, my nightly visits that I receive, of the creatures that come through my head…
..Which then inhabit all these pages and scripts that I write…
..It is an experience that is uncomfortable.
All these characters come riding, walking, crawling, talking, …flying,..
Out of the blackness in the recesses of my head.
And they all have this barreling engine to be able to get from there, through my fingers, and out of the existence they came from and into this one. The one we are in.
Almost every night since I was born.
Almost every, single, night.
I’ve never known a consistent week where sleep, and going to bed, didn’t come, almost every night, with the fear of what might be coming to pass through my head on it’s need to get out on paper.
I did not learn to put them down until elementary school. I did not learn the worlds around them needed to come with them until college. I did not get good at it, until I ran from myself and tried to outrun them, by hitching a ride to Los Angeles after that. I thank the gods that I learned that they didn’t come to torture me, but just to be released. These creatures, some human, some not. Worlds of souls… And these characters all came/come doused every night and every day burning with emotion and the appetite that drive them. Some good, some bad. Some very good and some scary evil.
Some, so evil and so vividly real, that I believe in the darkness that when I wake up, they would be standing over me. All of them full of vividness and life that most humans in my waking day don’t have.
So, every night, chaos ensues before morning. More often than not, waking me up in the middle of the night to sort them out and get the notes, or outline down to allow them to come out during the day. Almost every night. Sometimes (rarer occasions… ..but about every month or two) they have so much energy they come out fully birthed before morning. Then I spend the “in between” moments of daily, daytime consciousness, where I have the detailed, normal eyesight of contact lenses in, or glasses on (…those blips of time when no one is near me, or I am not operating the machine that is my own life, or in the white noise of a coffee shop) to clean them off and get their stories and surroundings ready to be seen.
All my life. Sometimes at the end of a nightly exodus, after the chaos or when through the daytime, structured, corrected vision of lenses .. (Which “simplify but limit” my overwhelming visual stimulation.. Seeing as I am legally blind without my glasses, corrected vision from the blinding fuzziness and fear that I operate in at night as I go to sleep without my glasses/lenses… or dense, dark, visual fog wake up in with the magic of these characters/creatures storming in that fuzziness.)
.. But …Sometimes.. in the clarity, after… I realize that one of these creatures or characters got lost somewhere in the exodus they were running for. …or they dropped something on their way out of my head and hands.
Sounds silly, I know. Sounds crazy. Probably is a little bit. Those times, when that happens,
I could, and do, spend months, sometimes years searching for where they “fell” or didn’t make it out. Most people would think… Why would you worry, they aren’t real. I have no idea…
..But, imagine Pinocchio was a real wooden puppet that was standing in front of you crying he wanted to be a real boy. Would you be able to ignore him? What I know, from my life, I couldn’t. Sometimes I realize… ..these lost characters ..they ran back into the darkness from where they came. That I may never see them again… ..and that as an adult I’ve grown to know and believe to the core of who I am,
that in my purpose for this life,
I failed them. And other rare times, months, or even years later… I take my glasses off, and I go to bed and in the dust and noise and chaos of my head of what has become the routine, uncomfortable exodus of these lives. These lights and shadows and emotions…
As Turing wrote… These
“Hyperboloids of wondrous Light
Rolling for aye through Space and Time
Harbour those Waves which somehow Might
Play out God’s holy pantomime”
…These hyperboloids of wonderous light…wanting to be get to creation, ripping through some hole in the back of my subconsciousness. Perhaps my childhood drew them there. Perhaps my gentle fear and enthusiasm made so many feel welcome to come visit me so boisterously.
A nightly storm which over a lifetime I have learned to ride out better, and with less fallout over decades…
On occasion in that same storm… … in that uncomfortable disorganized chaos, where tens of characters and creatures are all screaming to get my attention to be released…
One of those lost creatures…
Years after a moment where I woke up and realized they were lost, or I had lost them…
Comes back in the darkness, ready to be written.
I have thought that, perhaps, the first time they showed up, when they got lost, perhaps they might have just not been ready, or they may have just been a victim of an overtaxed mind. Or they were afraid I wasn’t ready. But, in any case, they have returned like a child, that I was supposed to be taking care of, that disappeared from my care and then is standing there in my head …often matured & ready.
This is all the exodus. That I have experienced my entire life. It has always been hard to put into words what happens to me every night (since I can remember). I can see in my partner’s eyes, as in others who know, how going to bed for me still holds fear. I know most creators (and I know so many now, after an entire life of chasing some way to make this easier… Moving all over the country/world. Running from these nightly visits) … Have singular shadows of what I describe. But, I have come to learn that most creators, don’t have the plurality and mass of exodus as I have. I have written hundreds and hundreds of scripts/ stories now. I have had to. Every night they visit needing to pass painfully from the dark through my hand. Every night for, as far as I can remember, 43 years. But still, when a lost one comes home or comes back and chooses me …as crazy as it may sound to some… When this creature or character or world gets to be freed…
These moments are as emotional to a creator, or at least, this creator, That this life gets.
It makes the lifelong struggle to deal with the exodus every night… ..better.