I will preface by saying that I am damn tired, and yes I am going crazy as all of you have guessed. It is because I’m swimming in a sea of crazy and a rising tide of anger. You shouldn’t be worried about me so much as what this implies about the world right now, though I would take it as a kindness if you did spare me a little bit of worry. Every artist is a reflection of the world he lives in. Put him in Africa and he will be continually assaulted by thoughts of violence and rape and visions of child soldiers, put him in Asia and he will continually be assaulted by thoughts of cold ruthlessness and classism and visions of humans as cattle.
Being creative means you have no filter on the input stream. It means that for whatever reason, the ability to depersonalize and stand back from reality has been disabled. Radical honesty in perception means you can’t “just ignore” anything, because every little bit matters when you try to sum it all up. Every sense impression goes in, and if they are all spring and sunshine then spring and sunshine are what comes out. If they are all crazy then crazy is what comes out. One is constantly taking normal life in and condensing it into hard-packed little visions. That’s it.
Creative expression is just a way of letting off some of that steam. In the ideal case, treating it like a pressure valve works. It’s not a great method, but it can greatly extend the lifetime of the vessel. But if the pressure valve flies off and the contents start spraying, it is time to back away from the tank. In the case of the creative person, you can take this as an indicator of what sorts of sense impressions are pouring into that person.
So what I’m suggesting is that before you go thinking it’s just me, you might want to check in on any other highly creative people you know and see how they’re doing. (I don’t mean the kind that’s good at parties and always turns in their art assignments on time.) It could just be in my little corner of the world, and anyway people go nuts all the time for normal reasons without it meaning anything big and scary. Plus, I knew that college was going to cause this sort of reaction because it always does. But it’s an awfully strong reaction this time, and much more sudden.