I figured that this would be an appropriate place to put this. It is a little creative monologue sketch or vignette I made a year ago that reflects a lot on the nature of creativity. It is, fittingly enough, entitled “Creativity.” I hope you’ll enjoy it. I have one more old work to post on here–where more people can see it–before I move on. See you soon.
“Sometimes I have to wonder about what people say about human genius,” he says, before leaning more heavily against the wall.
“Take Mozart for instance. Many claim that the composer wrote compositions completely free of error, blot and correction. He created his music ready-made and fully formed like Athene plunging right out of the temple of Zeus. If so, what a Metis he and others must have swallowed beforehand, if you will pardon the mythological digression.”
He chuckles, and then sighs, “It would sound wonderful to have this ability, wouldn’t it? If it existed, I mean. To be able to create perfection out of your own two hands, out of your very mind itself …” he pauses, “Or would it be so wonderful?
“For instance, imagine everything they said about Mozart was true. Think about making something everyday without making any mistakes in it whatsoever. Consider that you will have done this not just every day, but every year that you’ve been alive and first conscious of your gift. Then put the drive into consideration. Imagine feeling outside pressure and your own inner drive wanting you to make something better than the last time you created something. You always have to be better no matter what.
“But let’s just say you can tolerate — or perhaps even thrive — under these circumstances. You accomplish everything you set out to do and you finally approach the end of your life. Imagine slightly before this happens, you think about everything you’ve done up until this point. You have your old works and manuscripts in front of you and look through them to try and catch just a hint of the glimpse of that place you were in when you first made them so long ago. I don’t know about you, but as good as I would be, I wouldn’t be able to find it again.
“Instead I think that if Mozart really made all his works straight and unblemished from his mind, all he would see in front of him are the mistakes he never made or learned from, the absence of the rough drafts that could have made him wince with chagrin and sentiment, the non-existence of any chronicle of his progress and growth, and the lack of any seed that germinated his very ideas. If any of this is true, what he would have realized at that moment was that the only thing that ever made him worth anything was something outside and despite himself: something crystalline perfect and utterly sterile. And if this were the case, wouldn’t he have realized this much earlier than just at the end of his life?
“What would that have meant? Would there have been any meaning in it for him at all?”
He stares at the wall for a little while before considering his next words, “I would like to believe that this isn’t true at all. I’d like to think that not only is human genius potential in varying degrees, but that it is something that always has room to learn and change. Therefore, I do think Mozart had one or two corrections on his note sheets from time to time, or changed nuances to his music as he performed them for each audience he came in contact with.
“Of course, it’s also very possible that I’m wrong. Maybe he did make perfection and still learned anyway. Maybe there are people who are capable of this and better themselves only in making different and more complex works. But then where does that perfection ultimately come from?
“Maybe, in the end, it was no accident that I mentioned Athene in the head of Zeus. Daimons. Muses. After all, genius was once considered a spirit that made a human its vessel for a time. And if that’s true, just how much — if any — creative responsibility belongs to its creator? Perhaps nothing Mozart ever made was ever original or his own. Maybe nothing we make belongs to us in any capacity. But would that provide a sobering blow to the human ego? Or tremendous sense of relief?
“I don’t know,” he finally shrugs, “As for me, I’ll take my good moments, my mistakes, a drink of whiskey and a listening to of Mozart’s Requiem any day.”