Maybe I'm alone here but it always seems that the re-entry back into the real world after Christmas is really hard. It seems that I need a balance of fantasy and reality... a heady blend of magical realism.
When I go too far into either world, I go into tilt mode and can't find my equilibrium with any kind of ease and I just go reeling. It's not surprising that I went through a week of terrible back spasms because I think my basic architecture was completely out of whack.
There is a lovely kind of indulgence when it comes to the holidays, but too much metaphorical sugar tends not be the world's best tonic. You can only take so much. And then we get slammed in the face with the Charlie Hebdo incident and find ourselves falling into the hands of way too much reality which does no one any good -- other than make us realize that you can't have too much of just one world.
I write because it's how I fine tune my soul.
It's how I create my inner reverberations and light
It's how I mix just the right palette that produces my own true colors -- which sometimes turn dark and black when too much reality or self-sabotage bleeds in.
When I am with too much reality, I find the real world greets me with a decided measure of contempt and rage and it comes at me like a mountain-sized Tsunami.
When I am in too much fantasy, I find that I am too indulgent and lose perspective and I'm not engaged by anything even remotely real.
Time becomes useless. Human contact becomes inconsequential. I am living the life of an unarmed escapee.
And when my writing is centered on one world or the other, it suddenly turns false and vague and without any purpose. I'm just treading brain water.
I often have this fantasy that the new year comes with new beginnings only to be reminded almost instantly that it is quite the opposite: it's just more of the same with the very same inherent setbacks and disappointments almost immediately, and that creates all kinds of regret and sadness.
So it is time for this writer to reclaim his chemistry so that I can remind myself that I write for my health, for my soul, for the further propagation of my wit and intelligence and not for any kind of immediate reward.
I often tell students, when I teach at universities, that they should approach Hollywood the way we should approach Vegas. If you go there to win you are a fool, because 99.99 percent of the time the house wins and you lose.
You go there to play. And sometimes you get to sit at the high roller table and that in itself is it's own reward.
If you hit it, great. An odds-are-totally-against-it miracle has just occurred.
But to expect or even hope for that kind of miracle deludes the entire experience.
I love the words "playwriting" because that's ideally what it should always be: playing and writing. Screen-playing. Tele-playing.
Kurt Vonnegut said that he wrote to make the world a better place than it was before he began, and I have to get back to that ASAP.
I want to see the real by applying magic.
And I want to see the magic by applying the real.
Go to either extreme and you will find yourself lost in delusion. And isn't that what fundamentalism and extremism is all about?
That's why there is so much rage in this world.
Because we are out of balance.
How do we get back? By teaching our own. By returning to the heartland, by gathering the native members of our tribes around the hearth of our hearts and allow our elders to do what they do best: Inform. Pass down the stories of experience. Spread the seed of true wisdom.
There is so much contempt for the elderly in the villages of America. We seem to covet and celebrate exclusively those who will invent tomorrow -- but of what value is tomorrow if history is treated with such callous disregard and disrespect?
We crave solidarity.
We crave family.
We crave to be listened to and most of all understood.
You can get all that -- and much more -- by turning within and doing a little psychic inventory.
Reclaim your priorities -- listen to what your soul has to say, stop ignoring your own voice, stop blaming yourself for everything that has gone wrong.
Because here's the thing: You did not create your soul, so you have no right to abuse it. You're just renting it temporarily and sooner or later the lease will be up.
Treat it with all the respect that it and you deserve, and you will quickly discover that you are endlessly turning towards others to do what you have to learn to do for yourself.
Stop filling your head with excuses -- or worse: stories of your own invention that do nothing more than justify whatever is going on in your life.
Stop re-shaping and distorting the truth, because you are living the life of lies. Of fantasy. Of no reality whatsoever.
You are doing nothing more than constantly and endlessly encouraging yourself to feel rage, anger and contempt just so you feel right about everything.
Stop inventing your own truths and give yourself a break.
And just like that: you will not only be happy -- joyful in the moment -- but you will be the one thing that you almost never call yourself: