Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Depression and Creativity
It is one of those Spaulding Gray moments: waiting for something to happen to me so that I can write about it.  It was not so satisfying ranting about the current events of they day in yesterday's blog. As I re-read it I could not distinguish it from any other missive to be found on the Internet. It was just the same old stories recycled through this address.  That was depressing to me.  Sometimes out of my depression there comes great clarity.... sometimes great dispare. 
I realize that I am about to be the same age as Spalding Gray was when he killed himself. It is both sobering and discouraging at the same time.  First I didn't think I could ever become as old as Spalding Gray.  Not old so much as mature.  Not that Spalding was textbook mature, he just had the wisdom of age experience. I'm not sure that is really the truth either. Perhaps since Spalding talked about and documented so much of his life it seemed like he had lived more of it than he really had. I worry about myself when I look at my inspiring influences. Like seeing the neurotic Spalding Gray as mature and stable.   
Second, I am freaked out that he was so young when he decided life was not worth continuing. As I approach that age it seems like there is still too much play left to call the game. I can't see myself contemplating suicide, yet. In my gothic youth I certainly toyed with suicide in a self-centered way.  Perhaps we all do when feeling sorry for ourselves, "they would be sorry they did that if I was to die suddenly." Other than trying to write the perfect suicide note, I never really thought the process through in detail.  Even then it was all about the writing. Evidently for Spalding it was genetic, since his mother went through the same sort of depression ending in her own suicide. 
Depression is really a misunderstood demon. Like Nancy Reagan's admonition to the youth regarding drugs, "Just say no" to the depressed she would say, "Just get happy".  If it was just that simple there would be no depression.  

Although we give lip service to the idea that we are all individuals with our own unique facet of life,  we also want these unique individuals to fit in the same slot.  We should all like the same things and be happy from the same stimuli.  If I am happy why isn't he or she happy. 
"Why can't those depressives just see the bright side of life.  Be happy for the things around them."  We are surrounded by things that cause an equal amount of happiness and unhappiness from exactly the same event.  Every Sunday this time of year one football team will win and one will lose.  Those who root for the winner will be happy and those who root for the loser will be sad.  If something so unimportant as a game can cause this much disparity in feelings,  why shouldn't other more important events do the same thing on a greater level.  They do and they are not so easy to analyze nor as simple as which team you root for of just saying "no to unhappiness".

So here I am just waiting for something to happen so I can write about it. Spalding Gray would measure the time between events with Vodka.  It's too early and not satisfying for me.... besides alcohol can be a depressant and that is exactly what I do not need right now.  I need a Raymond Chandler event.  He used to say to writers.... "if you are stuck in the plot have two guys burst in the room with guns."  Where are you Ray?
As you were,


Aaron & Judy said...

Raymond Chandler said, "I certainly admire people who do things" and that is what I feel about you. I truly am amazed at your skills in many artistic genres! Another quote from Mr. Chandler is "Most critical writing is drivel and half of it is dishonest. It is a short cut to oblivion, anyway. Thinking in terms of ideas destroys the power to think in terms of emotions and sensations." I don't think Mr. Chandler has read this blog. I look forward to your entries. It is thought-provoking not drivel. It is honest and full of raw emotion. At times you challenge me (without you even knowing it). Other times you fill me with emotions. All told, you have brought nothing but a positive presence. I know Judy shares my sentiment. We look forward to more and reuniting with you and the show in 2012.

P. Grecian said...

When the song, "Don't Worry, Be Happy" came out, I was working in radio, writing copy, producing commercials and shows. The music from the station was, of course, piped into our offices, so I heard that song over and over again in a day. What a terrible song! Its message: When you worry you bring everybody else down, so stop it. Stop being depressed. Be happy instead.
Lordy, lordy, I hated that song.

Were that it were so easy to stop being depressed.

I find it interesting, too, that so many people who are in the entertainment or comedy business also struggle with depression. Maybe that struggle is part of our fight against our own big black beast.

I have long told people that doing what Spaulding Gray did--suicide--may be an option, but should never be a choice. It's like tipping over the Chess board. Ya gotta play this thing out to the end.

Difficult sometimes.

And, while waiting for something to write about...and writing about waiting for something to write about...you've written about something, eh?

Your blog is something I look forward to daily. Thanks, Jay. You make it just a little easier for lots of us out here.

Roomie said...

I am older than SG and have never even thought about doing that...and I am not now, or ever was of his talent...so "just get a grip" on yourself and write about what you do...I enjoyed yesterday and didn't see any resemblance to anything else in print....and did we know each other when you "toyed" with the idea of "s?" If we did and I had known, I would have slapped you silly and into next week......now get busy and stop waiting for something to happen....go outside and look around and then sit down by that damn pool of yours or go for a ride up the ocean hwy in that beamer and then write something....
Carry on,

Roomie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
uptonatom said...

I would suggest that you may want to read the recently released Journals of Spalding Gray. Intense,sad and thouhgt provoking. Surprise surprise - what we all knew from his works...well we didn't really know after all. Insights into depression and suicide.
I like your writing. I'd like to link it on Fan Writings on spaldinggray.com - please give me permission by using Contact on the site.
Thank you
John Boland
webmanager for the Estate of Spalding Gray

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