A funny thing happened this week…I hit a bit of a figurative wall. Possibly it was the non-stop pace I have set for myself in the last year, perhaps it was a truly awful and corrosive week at the day job, but things went pretty silent on me in terms of inspiration and output. This happens…to all who create, in every medium, in every genre. After decades of being a creative person, you know these periods of "writer's block" come and they go, but nevertheless they are tremendously unnerving. Despite the rational mind and experience telling you the muse will return, you inevitably start to doubt yourself, and fear losing the magic feeling forever of willing something into existence, seemingly from nothing.

That sense of satisfaction is a powerful aphrodisiac and stimulant, and largely why I allow myself to work on it so much, to the point of almost dangerous levels of lack of sleep. But even I must accept the need for a lull, a period of recharge, a hush…

And so this piece was born out of frustration, started late Saturday night, and worked on in increments all day Sunday. I would not allow the lull, the recharge, and I was determined to get my dose of satisfaction. Except…nothing was working. This was to be the second piece of a planned concept about alternate realities and parallel universes, after "I am the Doorway." These frames were going to be portals, the man in the first one has opened a series of windows into the other universes, and each one was to have a variant of the central image. I was going to add tech touches to the frames, and wires connecting them together. In fact, I did all that, and I was not happy with it at all. Instead of walking away and letting it rest, I started over, adding each layer in one at a time again. I stopped at the frames, with no wires, no images inside, just floating.

I liked this better, a lot better. But it was not giving me my "part II" I had set out to create. Not one to let something go easily, I did manage to get out of my own way long enough to consider this piece as meaning something else, to allow its implications to come from a different place. I did, and it spoke to me about my own state of mind. In this, I see someone exerting great effort, but all he has to show for it are empty frames, nothing filled in. He is in the collective ocean, he is poised and ready, dressed to the nines, but nothing is coming. Yes, that's an honest depiction - that speaks to me.

So this image is dedicated to the temporary lull, the silence that comes and tells you to rest, and speaks to the self-imposed pressure to create by blueprint, when random and unexpected have always been the most potent elixirs of all!

The title comes from a song by the band Innocence Mission, and is in fact a lyric about the worries of losing your inspiration and nothing comes. It's one of my favorite songs, and it seemed extremely relevant to the image at hand!

O bless me.
Am I going silent now?
O have I overnight been emptied?
If I could call these thoughts to come,
to stand on this paper
I could read what I mean
May I? May I?

O bless me.
Now I seem to come apart,
to sink
inside this overwhelming, What can I do?
What have I made of all of these new days?
And forgive my despair.

Where is color this hour?
Where is music this hour?
Are they still going on somewhere?
But where now, in this hush?
Where are words in this hush?
And what am I?

Model: Gilberto Mendez

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