Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Farting On One End Of A Wind Tunnel And Running Down To The Other End Because...

Posted by Picasa I don't usually write about feelings. That's just not my thing. I don't spend alot of time talking about them, and I don't like to read books where everybody's feelings are explored to no end...

If I had to ask myself why, it is because I think they are pretty universal. If your dad dies, most people will think about the death of someone they loved and understand, at least basically, what you feel. And so it is with even the simplest of feelings. "I feel ugly". Who hasn't looked into the mirror and seen their hideous side, splotchy skin and swollen morning eyes staring back at them.? "I feel all alone in a room full of people." I bet that has occured to most people? "I feel full." Pretty common. "I feel lust." Very common. "I feel broke." "I feel happy." "I feel angry."

I can relate to all of those.

Which is why blog entries that talk about feelings never interested me much. Yeah yeah yeah, you have those too? Who knew?

So when I think I want to write one-- a blog entry that deals with feelings-- I get all hesitant and uncertain and resentful that I have this feeling that I want to write a blog entry about "this feeling that I have". I get all "mannish" and want to just swallow and spit. I want to beat it with a hammer and fix it. I want to read the first few lines of a manual and then put it together.

But as I age, I figure, what the hell. Throw the damn thing against the wall and see if it sticks. Play it on a pot or pan and see if anybody recognizes the tune. Perhaps it is a feeling that is also universal, like love or angst or sadness?

Maybe if I told you about it, I won't feel all alone in a room full of people for a few minutes, and that might be nice?

Maybe if I spit it out, it might just glisten in the sun?

Anybody who has ever spent anytime creating something, whether it be a candle on a stick or a silly song or a finger painting or a nanowrimo novel, can probably relate to the moment when they hold it up and say "Here it is!" and they look around the room to see the reaction of anybody who bothered to look to begin with. The feeling of making something that wasn't anything, before you showed up, looking to woohoohoo with somebody willing to simply check it out.

I mean think about it, the exression-- "Look what I made" requires a response from somebody or else it is a silly statement.

"Look what I made..."

"Look what I made..."

Kids say it all the time looking for approval. Most adults know that approving is a good thing for these kids. They will gain in confidence. Self-esteem. All good stuff. When a kid says "Look what I made", I always look. I almost always say "Wow!" and then I check it out, looking at it from angles only a really amazed person would look at it from. Whatever it is. "You made a fake dog turd! Cool! You dried it on the funny pages, look, there's Snoopy!" That sort of thing. Universal right?

Ever make something, and feel you have just farted in a wind tunnel?

That's what I am trying to get at.

The feeling that yes, even though you can invent and create something, it still blows out the same vent as the rest of the air?

The feeling that there is too much air flowing to begin with, and as an individual, you are no match for the sheer volume of air blowing by you?

If I am not making myself clear, it is because I never write about feelings. They are universal for the most part, but they are fuzzy things that are hard to use words to describe.

It is the feeling that what I make is so small and inconsequential within the scheme of things and the backdrop of the universe as we now know it, that it won't wrinkle a nose or cause one to hold their breath or even make a pair of eyes water.

I am farting in a windtunnel, and running to the other end to see what effect I've had.

Is that a universal feeling?

14 comments:

Maggie said...

So, yeah. I finished my NaNoWriMo also a few days ago and have felt this same air blowing thing you describe, only I was calling it post wrimo downer or some such appropriate title. And then of course the typical writer doubt and I'm not as good as all that other wind blowing by feelings came with it.

Liz said...

I don't get to have that feeling since I didn't complete 50,000 words. But, The guy who started NaNoWriMo writes about the depression that sinks in after finishing in his book.

Nikky said...

Is that what it is? I'm finding myself in kind of a funk today, nothing to rush home to write after classes...

But Scott, is your novel finished? Did you tell the entire story in 50,006 words?
Mine is not done,so I am trying to use that as an anti-WritMo-Downer, I will finish writing it, then do the edit hell, that should keep me busy for awhile...

what the hell, I mean, we've taken it this far, right? Maybe looking to get it published can slow the windtunnel thing?

Karmyn R said...

Well, although I finished the 50,000 words, my book is not quite completed (so, even though I won, I didn't). So, I've yet to start to smell that fart in the windtunnel yet.

And yes - I accept your NAFALOMO challenge (but can we do it AFTER all the Christmas cookies have been eaten?)

Hammer said...

Everytime I finish some epic project it's almost as if the chase is better than the catch.

I can see why some people are workaholics they don't want to feel the letdown of completion.

Even if someone finishes a major project like NaNoWriMo and recieves accolades out the wahzoo
it still doesn't satiate the empty feeling or the need for another fix.

Nancy Dancehall said...

Yeah, it makes sense. You're a guy who builds things, right? You're done building the 50,000 words. There was a lot of pleasure in that, (along with the tired eyes, etc.) and it feels like it's over. But you're not _quite_ done, right?

Yeah, you look around, and see about a billion other stories, and because the thing on the screen isn't quite the thing in your head, you get that feeling that it's a drop in the ocean.

It's a universal feeling. That letdown.

You had an ending imposed on you by the contest. It's not real, so it leaves you feeling this way.

Go work on it some more. That feeling will lift.

I get it everytime I send out some story or essay. So I start something new.

Scott from Oregon said...

Everybody-- No, my novel is not finished. There is about ten thousand words left to the end, plus another ten thousnad to fill out the middle the way I want Maybe more in both directions. I've been whay I call a "creative" carpenter my whole life. I understand the letdown at the end of a project. For me, it is usually the fact that the image I've been holding in my head for a month or two is no longer an image I need to hold.I spent my energy and now I need ot save some.

What I am feeling is the overwhelming (and underwhelming)notion that the best I've got is not much, in the grand scheme of things. It isn't life threatening or anything, so I wouldn't worry. Bt it is a strong and from the broadside feeling nonetheless.

Flat Coke and Flies said...

I think you should eat some chocolate.

CapricornCringe said...

Scott, I think you are the first person to ever compare writing to farting in a wind tunnel and then running to try to catch the smell.

You're so weird.

I think that's why I like you :)

Little Miss Kylie said...

You know, I've given this some thought, and I think, maybe, you need to just say whatever it is you're trying (albeit unsuccessfully) to say and be done with it.

I'm a nurse. I can't help you unless I KNOW what the problem is.

Scott from Oregon said...

Kylie- I did. The act of creating something, giving your full effort and attention, still feels like farting in a windtunnel.

CC-Not weird. Just "colorful".

Little Miss Kylie said...

See, the expression "farting in a wind tunnel..." just makes me want to give you something for flatulence.

You need to be specific. The use of analogies is never helpful to a nurse.

WildFlower said...

YEP! pretty much a universal feeling darlin!!! thats why you have to be happy and excited and not let anyone else take your joy away...and be proud of yourself! cuz it seems the rest of the world dont really give a damn about you or your goals...find your own inspiration to carry on with what you love...
I am very proud of you!!! just so you know...I myself could never accomplish what you have...so let that feeling fly out the door and keep on going...keep on writing...do not allow anything to take your passion away!!!
xoxoxo

kario said...

Just because a feeling is universal does not mean it is felt any less strongly.

I can relate to what you're saying, and will admit to having felt it before as well. A friend of mine who is a child psychologist explained to me that, developmentally, we feel this way later in life. He says that when a small child goes out into the wide world to get some perspective and looks up at the universe, although they can be frightened by its size, they generally are excited because the vastness of it all makes them feel that anything is possible. As an adult when we do this, we generally feel smaller and more inconsequential. Just something to consider. I'm personally trying to revert back to that childlike wonder.

Maybe instead of feeling as though you've completed something that doesn't really matter, you could look at it from a child's perspective and realize that you have just completed your first of many writings...