“Waiting to inhale… the Crap”
Despite my noobish delusions of grandeur at having accomplished something and my over-zealous, dog with a bone, temperament toward all the flair and conceits contain within my own writing, performances, etc…, I’ve had to face the sad cruel fact that, professionally, everything I do is crap. …At least initially.
A famous writer once said that “all first drafts are crap.” Well, being a trifurcated artist, I found that notion extends to a whole host of artistic endeavors as well and even, embarassingly, pushes at the borders of general life stuff. But now, in the face of a fresh steaming pile of… whatever, I’m beginning to inhale more deeply, perhaps not “enjoying” the aroma but rather, enjoying the potential of its existence. I think the best way I can express the idea is to quote some dialogue I lovingly crammed into the mouth of the Hero of a spec’ Sci-Fi Action Adventure script I wrote (status: optioned twice, yet to be produced). One of the characters is asked by his nephew how he won a military medal, and he responds by claiming the medal was for “burying the crap.” His nephew, a bit of a naif to the murk of good and evil, of course doesn’t understand. So, our be-medaled Hero explains:
“In Australia’s infancy, they made a Herculean effort to introduce cattle and sheep to their country. They set aside millions of acres of pasture to that purpose and turned the cattle and sheep loose on it. Unfortunately, a short time later, those pastures became completely unusable. You see, there were no dung beetles in Australia to bury the fecal matter of the live stock in the soil, thus fertilizing it. Nothing is wasted…”
Now you would think that I, having put the words in the character’s mouth, would’ve understood what he/I was saying long ago but, as if often the case, many of the characters I create understand more and see much further than I do. They’re wiser. So…, I’ve began to look at crap in a different context–emergence, growth, fruitfulness, etc. Crap is, quite literally, a fertilizer. The question is will we let it nurture the creative seed and seek out what it can grow, or walk away because we can’t handle the stink of it? I suppose that being able to take a deep inhale in the face of the pile requires at least a bit of vision, confidence, faith, but from where those Samwise at the crack of doom qualities are summoned still mystifies me. They are, at the very least, the subject of another journal entry. For now, suffice to say that whatever pile of mess generated from our creative endeavors or life foolishness, perhaps the most valuable thing we can do to it is bury it, cultivate it and see what grows.