Some thoughts on the creative manifesto project

Since Monday, when it started, I have been dumbfounded and inspired by this creative collaboration I am lucky enough to participate in. I get excited each time I get an email from the blog Sunslick Starfish, an artistic blog maintained by poet Ching-In Chen. This is why I really believe in a community of writers, even if it is maintained virally. Like a good writer friend of mine said (ahem, Jennifer Derilo), good writing is not created in a vacuum. This whole process, which is made possible via a blog (isn’t that amazing?), has lifted my spirits and has been the one thing I look forward to during this week (besides coming home to my dear husband).

This collaborative manifesto project has been a way for me to express many subdued feelings I’ve had, and do it in such a way that is beyond my own personal experiences. To use the words of others and create new ways of viewing such units of meaning is the thing that is magical about this whole process. It’s amazing what one can do with the human experience and the use of our language. It is no small thing that we can take small units–words, phrases, sentences–and reinvent or redress them, creating new shades for such small units, new shades of meaning. I can only say this: it is a deeply addictive, sequential process that is dependent on artistic honesty. You have to be honest with yourself to write with others. I must confess, I have and need to distill the egotistical self I hold in order to write collaboratively. Writers, by nature of entity, are sometimes self-involved and alienated, but it is times like these where I am reminded why we write. We’re all searching for something, and though it is not always the same, the answer is attainable through our language.

Here is a great poem by Monica Hand, who is also part of this creative process. It really stayed with me, so much that I wanted to post it on my blog.

what is the myth that you keep from your family that isn’t true?

We are a happy family could be true if we could laugh without the stupor of alcohol and the church crutch. God cannot save us from our loneliness. How you manage the loneliness is your mortal problem not God’s. We are a family of drunks because we like laughing and feeling unbridled. We are a family of church goers and Christ slingers because we believe Christ will take away the loneliness and the shame. We are a family of fools who love to eat, drink and fuck – who love pleasure – and are shamed by it.

– Monica Hand

Prompt: Why is the love of pleasure a source of shame?


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