These Laurels Were Not Meant To Rest by Valerie Parente
Imagine, imagine, imagine. When the world is mundane I give it my passion another artistic era to rise from the ashes.
Create, create, create. People say I should be satisfied but I need to formulate an endless stream of words from this mental landscape.
Another rhyme, another day, another opportunity for artistic display. These laurels were not meant to rest, in this garden I’ll always progress, so ever-evolving, so evergreen, like the creativity that lives within me.
I wrote this poem, “Like Fine China“, without fully understanding what my subconscious was trying to tell me. After reading it a couple of times I realized the meaning behind the words. Fine China is the symbol for making art (something beautiful) out of sadness. The sadness is a constant cycle that manifests itself like patterns on fine China, royal “blue” (sad) details that I’ve etched upon the surface (my writing). When I have days that I break down, the porcelain breaks down, and I could use the jagged pieces of sadness to hurt myself but instead I choose to use them to build a display out of the broken pieces in the form of a porcelain vase (art from my mental breakdown) and there I show off pretty flowers (rhymes through poetry). The problem that arises from creating art out of sadness, sometimes sadness that a 3rd party might see as “old news”, is that these emotions I’ve recited are as good as dead to the world, hence why the flowers in the fine China vase I’ve built are decaying. The wonder in this, though, is that those decaying flowers offer me, the writer, solace. The cycle of sadness and creativity continues as the decaying flowers become a beautiful floral tea that I turn to for comfort as a grieve the ongoing pain I’m still in. Other people don’t see the benefit of the flowers (writing about perpetual pain), but I do. The entire process from fine china to a floral tea is cathartic, as is the artistic process, and in the end I feel okay and like I can survive my own mental state. Alas, a new day comes, the sadness inevitably returns as I am overwhelmed with reminders from the real world, and the pretty pain goes back to being “too pretty to comprehend” (commentary on not fully understanding what I was writing in the poem itself “Like Fine China”). Thus the entire breaking down of fine china (delving into an artistic outlet) occurs again.
Isn’t it incredible how art can be completely mindless but reveal something so profound in the mind it spawns from?
The precedent we’re setting is incredibly scary where I can’t talk and you can’t talk unless both of us agree; where my freedom and your freedom is no longer free. Our basic freedom to think is our soul’s freedom to just be. To recognize that opinions aren’t objective is what marks our humanity; to collect our differing ideas is what make us a society.
I don’t know if we can get any more low than our current reality where people are in a race to ruin each other’s livelihoods just because they don’t like the way someone else breathes and I know we all mean well but any form of censorship is the enemy the right to feel is dissolving before our eyes and I think it’s a symptom of a bigger disease because my generation was given a broken world and we feel more in control dictating how each other speak. We all have a different mind and I want to hear the different stories but we are headed for a dystopia if we can’t agree to disagree.
Nothing has ever made me feel more alive, than turning a stream of consciousness into fantasy rhymes, bringing to life dark fairytales that pull at heartstrings, taking a subtle mood and honing the art of exaggerating. The beautiful quality of fantasy and daydreamed worlds is that nothing is literal, it’s all a hypothetical metaphor, and just because I am the narrator of something literary does not mean I’ve mistaken my story with reality. I’m inspired by what’s in my psyche, not the world outside creating scripts for daydreamers who don’t feel whole in real life.