Some days I think I miss being in love because I miss having an inspiration to write beautiful things.
Other days I think I miss being in love because I miss having an excuse to write beautiful things.
It’s a subtle difference, but in the last couple years I’ve realized that being in love, or rather, loving someone, is my greatest artistic outlet. It gives me a reason to begin producing again, like all my creative stirrings were just bouncing around inside of me looking for a route out.
And because of this, sometimes it can feel like this person I am enamored with is not so much the source, as the subject. Not so much the inspiration, as the instigator. A target, rather than a well.
This is not to say my affections aren’t personal, or sincere. But more that there is almost a sense of relief in finally having a defined point upon which I can now direct my artistic efforts. It creates a creative constraint: something I’ve always needed to produce anything of substance. Nothing worse than a blank page.
And it always leads me to wonder how much what I create is for me, rather than for them.
Are my grand romantic gestures and outpourings of prose actually in proportion to the love I feel? Or is it merely a scratching of that creative itch—self-satisfying, and art for the sake of art?
After all, if you were a sculptor, and you were moved to create something, would you hold yourself back and do less than you were capable of producing for fear of coming on too strong? Offending the viewer in the boldness of your work? Or would you unleash your full creative potential and produce the sculpture as was intended by some force greater than yourself?
So, likewise, if being in love is my artistic outlet, how am I to restrain myself? Withhold the creativity that is begging, aching to be let loose? It is, after all, so easy and enjoyable to be carried away. Is that irresponsible?
But then I wonder whether, in offloading such packages of affection, in creating these words and whimsies of love, you actually create love. Much like the simple act of forcing a smile can initiate a positive feedback loop and create feelings of happiness (see: http://bit.ly/1yqQe89), can the mere production of artistic romantic expressions for someone likewise spark or amplify your feelings of love for them? Yesterday I read these passionate love letters from Vladimir Nabokov to his wife and — once I was recovered from my swooning — wondered if he got pulled into this artistic love loop, too: http://bit.ly/1G0O2bI.
Mind you, I don't think it's a negative thing. In fact, maybe this is why creative people seem to love so much deeper and with such passion. With each romantic artistic expression, they're continually intensifying their love for that person and reinforcing its profundity. It's easy to get caught up in that.
So is this why I can fall so easily in love with a stranger? Begin narrating in my head the tender, teasing conversations we will have while cooking breakfast together, pancake mix on the tip of my nose, the sound of butter sizzling in the pan? So quickly link my first name to their last, like a teenage girl scribbling on her middle-school Trapper-Keeper?
In my enjoyment of writing the story, do I write it into existence?
Do any of you fall into this artistic love loop, too?
Does love feed art? Or does art feed love??
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The launch honestly feels like mixed good news to me, since (being a NASA project) it's subject to incredibly long timelines and high vulnerability to ceasing halfway through due to budget cuts. The next major step for Orion -- an unmanned flight to circle the Moon -- isn't scheduled until 2018. (That's because the rocket which will take it there, the SLS, isn't built yet) A manned flight would happen as early as 2019 -- the proposed mission there would involve having an unmanned ship first fly out to capture an asteroid and put it in Lunar orbit, and then the Orion to fly out to the Moon and actually have people land on and study the asteroid.
I have to admit that this would be pretty damned cool, but knowing how the past several administrations have tended to deal with NASA by setting very lofty goals and then underfunding them by just enough so that they never have any chance of happening, and then changing the goals on a regular basis to boot, I'll believe it when I see it.
That said, the Orion capsule itself seems well-designed, if not startlingly novel, and I could imagine it having a future powered by other kinds of rockets as well.
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