Creatives are like walking (living) petrol tankers. The difference is that no one writes on our foreheads, “Highly inflammable. Highly explosive. No smoking”. When a creative person passes by fire (tough times) and there are visible sparks, everyone thinks “isn’t he such a wonderful firework?” We smile and wish they knew that pain never misses our address because we seem to know how to receive it. Do you remember that the guy who knew how to make profits trading with his coins was given another person’s coins? This is our situation. We bear not only our pain but those of others.
Your writer friend, like every creative person, is perpetually ablaze with a smokeless fire, but most people do not see the burns- the roasting away- of this priceless person who is gradually becoming an idol in their shrines of fantasies. People pause to ask, “how can someone shine so bright?” Most of these people are like Moses standing beside the burning bush, they see the flames but not the burns. They sit around you enjoying the warmth, they say you are the hearth they asked God for, an answered prayer.
So they “thank you for the warmth, for illuminating the dark path through which life drags us.” They sing your praises and give you more titles, “writer, storyteller, poet, etc.” No one stops to think that titles are encumbrances that weigh many a man down. You never find the courage to tell your friends that the pen in your hand is a cross and there is often no Simon of Cyrene to help you bear it when you are tired.
However, I do not write this on behalf of writers to solicit pity. We have no need for that! Like Apostle Paul, we have made peace with this thorn in our flesh. Also, our muse never stops telling us, “my grace is sufficient.” But if ever we become snobbish and act weird, step aside in understanding. Hold on for us and give us some time to recharge our batteries. We blow hot and cold because we are just pendulum bobs attached to a retort stand of emotions. One slight toss could swing us back and forth, against our will for a prolonged time.
Finally, as you dance around this bonfire we call life, remember that your artistic friend is the woodfuel that keeps that fire burning. Some days he will be light and other days he will be a raw fire. He is just a lamp wick, burning to illuminate a world darkened by pain and strife.
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