I’m having that feeling again. A feeling which is not unfamiliar but not nearly familiar enough. It creeps up when I’m reading a particularly great book, or feeling inspired by a great article or interview, or listening to a new song I’ve just discovered that is lyrically perfect, often in its deceptive simplicity. All of those things have happened just recently, all at once: the great book is Goldfinch, by Donna Tartt – the metaphors! The word choice! The ridiculously rich main character, so complex and layered and flawed! I’m about halfway through the book and am obsessed!; the interview is the GIRLS panel last night at the Academy – envy at their youth and envy that they’re CREATING, and something that I think is pretty great at that; and the song is I Don’t Wanna Break by Christina Perri - “I just wanna love you, don’t wanna lose me, don’t wanna lose you, if it gets harder then I don’t wanna break all alone…” sometimes a song just takes you to a time in your life and you combine the lyrics with a catchy tune and it throws you, quick and rough-like.
The overture to this was waking up one morning a few days ago before everyone in my house was awake, and the windows were open and it smelled like summer at dawn. The birds were chirping and the blue-gray light bled all over my living room, and I felt a surge of possibility.
So what is this feeling? Well. It’s this: I want to read all of the books – fiction, non-fiction, short fiction, flash-fiction, novellas. I want to read your journal. Yep, yours. I want to watch all of the movies and television shows. I want to consume all of the comic books and graphic novels. I want to see all of the paintings in all of the museums. I want to go to all of the panels, I want to be obsessed with everything that’s ever been created. I want to hear all of the music and read all of the lyrics. I want to read all of the poetry, maybe even memorize it. I want to discover all of the new bands and I want to go to the open-mic nights and I want to see all of the comics. I want to re-read all of my favorite books all at once. I want to have lunch with you, all of you, one at at time and I want you to tell me about everything interesting that’s ever happened to you.
I want to write. I want to find stories to tell, and tell them. I want to create things people are obsessed with. I want to create things I’M obsessed with. I want to take pictures and learn photoshop and print pictures and frame them and hang them up. I want to figure out how to put into words how beautiful my girlfriend is, I want to find the right word to describe the color of her eyes. I want to write down every single word that I love, and I want to figure out how to use them in something I write. I want to learn how to construct metaphors – can that be taught? I want to blog and tumble and tweet. I want to take classes, go back to school to be all of the things I ever wanted to be – doctor, lawyer, writer, teacher, astronomer, marine biologist, actor. Filmmaker. Screenwriter. I want someone to shackle my ankles to a chair in front of a desk in a quiet room with a computer and force me to sit there for 4 hours, 6 hours, 8 hours, however long it takes until I’ve written something worth working on a second time, a “shitty first draft.”
I want to make sense of everything.
Of course, there is never time for this. Not for all of this, anyway. But there has to be time for SOME of it, right? If I could bottle this feeling, it would change my life. For now, I just let myself feel it, and let it move me to tears just a bit, and hope that if I keep reading and listening and working and writing – even just a little bit – the feeling won’t be so much of a stranger.