the lonely creative. by Robyn London
I have spent my life immersed in creativity.
As a guide, passion or perhaps what others may interpret as an unrealistic dream.
It is embedded within my earliest memories.
It has nurtured my soul.
There is beauty in the moments of creativity that healed parts of me, that I didn’t realise were broken.
Memories of writing poems with scented gel pens.
Reciting words as they travel through the wind.
Daydreaming of worlds and the people who inhabit them.
A head buried and lost in the stories within books and on screen.
Teenage friends who trusted me with their secrets, granting them freedom and making note of their importance.
The duty to speak up for those who do not have access to their voice or for fear that they might not be heard.
What a noble, heroic responsibility that accompanies me.
A companion that is intertwined with loneliness and with a feeling of abandonment, as others pursue trades that offer monetary value and fulfilling relationships.
Opportunities for routine and stability go amiss.
The dialogue between characters as my only source of conversation.
The structure of the words keeping me grounded.
I have not been so fortunate as to focus outside of my creativity.
It follows me wherever I run to.
I have moved to different towns, cities and even in my dreams sought to avoid it.
Recently, I have learnt to live with the burning desire of pursuing this path.
I have begun to see it less as a burden and more of a gift passed down to me by ancestors.
They have presented me with the truth of my lineage.
Split down the middle; Bred from a unity of opposition with challenges to overcome.
Though many have come close to escaping.
I have been chosen to surrender to the creative spirit.
To set her free.
So here I am, writing.
I have stuck the words LOVE on the front of my notebook.
A little reminder, I guess.
I have also treated notebooks with more care and gentle touch than I have myself. Maybe if I tattooed love on my skin, I would be able to apply the same method.
I am at a point in my life where I have begun to confront my true self.
It is no longer possible to unconsciously let the days pass and not address the truth of my reality.
A draining process but it has never left me feeling less than.
Through it all, I have made the decision to pursue a career as a creative.
Despite the lack of privilege and undesirable circumstances.
I have a strong belief that this is what I am here to do.
So far, this pursuit has left me lonely, rejected and poor (monetarily) but still I can’t abandon this love.
This part of me, seeking to explore, to find answers and to understand the universe, humanity and everything in between.
This decision means no more running, moving or avoiding.
I moved to London with a 5-year plan.
I started to walk through my dreams.
I confronted my creative spirit.
It is my first time taking my writing into the world.
I am sat in an Expressive Writers’ group at Bush Theatre.
We have been asked to answer the question, ‘Why do you want to write?’.
I look down at the words LOVE and I open my notebook.
There is a space within me
That is light, as it is dark
Quiet, as it is loud
Opposite and similar
This is my in between
This is the place I truly feel at peace and ease in a world that is chaotic
My dreams and purpose are safe in this realm
The confidence and courage of a warrior
I look to it when I feel imbalanced
I reconnect and I start again
In this place there are thoughts and ideas
My inner child is playing
She laughs and cries
We are connected
She reminds me of the fun and the positive energy I possess
I am able to unlock a vast land of promise
Where stories are told, and music is heard
A voice, a strong voice of a little girl who refused to bow to the many
She feels and she writes
Writing is communication
Understood by only few
Those who seek to find the space within their own self
I read it aloud to the group.
I then begin to wonder whether I should’ve kept it simple. Toned it down. Written something else. I didn’t. I couldn’t. Keep it simple. That would be a disservice to the truth and to myself.
I flick back to the notes that I had made in the first session.
The group had given various definitions of how we interpret expressive writing.
– Expression of self
– No validation
– Human experience
– Overcoming challenge
Perhaps I am keeping it simple after all.
Another session and another sense of freedom.
When I was a little girl
I had a big, fluffy, brown teddy bear called, Woody.
He was an object that I treasured
Until I misplaced him
I hadn’t connected with another object
Spent many a time throwing things away
Cleansing all of my materialistics
Until I found you
Now you are not an object
I would never treat you as such
But I will treasure you
And never misplace you
For you have a place in my heart
Your laugh warms my heart
Your smile is like the sunshine
Your hair smells of flowers
You are safe and snug
You are the feeling of home
You remind me of Woody
I guess that’s the feeling of love
I finish reading aloud.
I begin to understand that writing has the power to offer moments of healing to others.
The burning desire within me intensifies.
Despite being asked to write about an object, I was led elsewhere.
I wrote about my daughter, about our love and its healing power.
She embodies the spirit of love and all that is.
The connection that we have has offered me the ability to see this as a reflection of myself.
My creative spirit has been enhanced by my experiences as her mother and my role as her mother enhanced by my creative spirit.
I realise that just as I have accepted my responsibilities as a single mother.
I must now accept my responsibilities as a creative.
The journeys are parallel to one another.
Loneliness weaves between the two.
A burning desire fuels the pursuit.
Love is always found within and surrounding.
Following the Expressive Writers’ Group, I was chosen to be a part of the West London Playwrights’ Group.
An experience that has deepened my connection to writing.
The unearthing of stories that are untold.
The birth of new possibilities as I bravely flow with my passion.
Following my guide; whom I know would never lead me toward an unrealistic dream.
The journey has revealed that the process of writing leads me to love.
That love travels through my writing and into the spirit of others.
Just as I had started to accept the fate of the lonely creative.
The loneliness is no longer the burden of a single mother with a creative spirit.
Gone are the days of taking great care of notebooks, except to hoard the love within them, without ever setting them free.
I have made another decision.
The tattoo might have to wait, but I think I will apply the method to myself after all.
I am ready to love and to be loved.
I am ready to be free.
Perhaps I am free.