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Getting High

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My energy starts to pick up, sleep still miles away even though it’s far past midnight. I toss mental interferences aside as I let impulse take over. My head races round and round, a tidal wave of colors before me. I reach out sporadically groping from the first one I see, then dip in again for more. Rationale is a far away identity now, one that no longer belongs to me. Hours collide as I faintly acknowledge that dawn is coming outside. The passing thoughts of “I should be in bed...no, should have been in bed hours ago,” are quickly convinced to come back at a more convenient time. “Can’t you see I’m busy!” I watch as the rainbow hues in front of me snatch my attention back. My mind is a visual kaleidoscope, body racing to keep up with the tornado. I can feel an unmistakable power surging through me as the rainbow spins again to reveal something new to my all-absorbing, inky pupils. At the end of it all I collapse into bed, not in the least bit tired, but just trying to come down. I shut my eyes to the vibrant prism pigments still clinging to my eyelashes. Finally, sleep comes, much deserved, after a long night’s work.

In the morning, well as much a “morning” as I can expect after going to bed at 5:30, I go downstairs to see what remains from the disorder of last night. There on my desk, I see the chaos of the previous night: random pinpricks of paint splatters, a mélange of chromatic pencils, sharp tipped pens and juiced up markers all lying in piles around the centerpiece—my latest creation—a new work of art.

Probably to the surprise of many, I have never been high, even though the subject matter and look of my art would often beg to differ. Yet this isn’t an anti drug tirade, this is just about how I achieve my own sort of high, the natural way. It doesn’t happen every time I sit down to draw. In fact, more often than not, it’s extremely trying to bring about. Most times, it is irritating to even start the work. However, when it does happen, it is magical. When the timing is right, when the passion is there, and when I am racing the clock to meet that next deadline or beat the sunrise, that is when it happens. And I love that rush! The surge of creative power that is ushered into my being is a phenomenal charge to my otherwise sleep-deprived mind.
Creation is beautiful in itself, but when I can really feel my art, when I can be what is “the becoming,” is when I am most elated. I dash around the picture plane, filling up the plaguing blank, white areas. My fastidiousness can finally be let go in this sort of state. No mistake can slow my process, no wrong move can overtake me. Past the point of obsessing over the details, my creativity is now raw and pure! I know what I am doing without truly knowing; my subconscious is my master. I have dealt with the hardships, the struggles, the tweaking and perfecting. No longer must I second guess or redo that one last line for the nine millionth time. I’ve bought the highly pigmented pills of my creations, laid out the cocaine pastels, readied the ink within the brush tipped needles and I’m ready to take a hit. Things will fly into disarray as I no longer know where the blue pill went that I was crushing into the paper moments ago. “Where is... ooh I’ll settle for a red one instead,” and I press it sharply against the canvas. The mental dialogue is hard to portray, the process fast paced, hyperactive, and highly illogical to all but me. While it may always be a challenge to get there, and while the effects are sometimes not as good as they should be, I still like getting high… on art that is. Besides, who needs psychedelics when your brain can already do what mine does?



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