Decision making time: Do I complete Johnny and leave it in the past or do I continue. I have to draw on the left brain to compose detail, and the right brain to see it in a larger context and the left brain is tired I guess and the right brain isn’t kicking in. So far the creativity has been balanced between the two but I’ve sort of reached an impasse. In “The neuroscience of Bob Dylan’s Genius,” Culture; Guardian UK, April 6 2012, John Lehrer talks about the importance of epiphany in the creative process, the release of energy in the right hemisphere that brings together new network connections to create original information that the left hemisphere with its logic and reason has been unable to discover through trial and error. I haven’t felt an epiphany for days.
Dylan apparently quit making music after an exhausting tour of Europe left him ill and disillusioned, retreating to a cabin in Woodstock, New York where he listened to a new voice within him and penned “Like a Rolling Stone,” in 1966 from right brain connections to his own inspirations I must say it’s a powerful story and identifies the level of frustration that can break down communication in the intervening periods between insight. It’s quite numbing and fearful.
I had expected a somewhat mechanical process where writing and drawing on the left side of the brain would be as important as epiphany, but I hadn’t expected that while one may continue, the other can subside. It may be I have to force myself to the task and draw inspiration from elsewhere. I look around though and don’t feel that inspired. I have been ill of and on, Like Dylan at the end of his tour, and it has led to a bit of a depression wanting to be healthy and alive. I have to be careful with my mental health though I know it will come back, just not sure when.
Writing Johnny therefore has played some tricks on me. It’s like I have to be in conditions that are good for me, healthy and inspired are just two of those. I have to feel like what I am doing is rewarding and a good use of my time. I have other obligations of course, and have to meet those. I can’t play with the down slope. The creative process for me is exhausting. It leaves me exposed to suffering. Why? How can I pick this up and drive inertia the opposite or positive way? Where do I draw inspiration from today? I know I’m being slightly critical; I’m avoiding negative reflections in favor of allowing time to draw things out for me. That’s the punch line that Lehrer makes with his article and the subject of his book, “Imagine: How creativity works,” you just have to wait until it happens. I reach for another tissue to blow my nose.