Yov worked and worked and worked this week, battling against time, energy,trains, buses and crowded streets that seem to make the city feel increasingly difficult and unhealthy to live in. there was little or no respite, excepting that sleep, when it came, rescued Yov from Yov’s raft of responsibilities.
Shakespeare continued to grace Yov’s mind however, Hamlet’s soliloquy allowing Yov to think about sleeping and being and not being and dreaming. Yov was reminded of Yov’s childhood when the day always seemed to busy, too public, in a small house filled with children, parents and friends. Then Yov looked forward to the quiet privacy of the night, when all were snoring and still in the dark.
Then Yov wondered at the wallpaper, trying to fathom where its symmetry began or ended, whether the negative space or the positive emblem really made the pattern work. Yov would lie awake charmed by the swishing light of cars that passed outside but somehow projected their passing through Yov’s window as a mobile, luminous window that passed from one side of the room to the other, undulating over all the architectural interruptions it moved across.
Then of course Yov would read, using a secret lamp that Yov’s dad didn’t even know was a lamp. Literature was always a wonderful world to escape to, where Yov was never lonely, intimidated, bullied or pushed aside, and where everything was interesting, exotic, where everything had a momentum, a way to go. Still Yov connected with the characters about whose lives Yov read and in some ways, these people made of words helped to form Yov, to make Yov what Yov is today.
Hamlet says we choose to live, even in the face of terrible experiences, partly because we cannot know how much worse death might be than life. Still, he is mixed up, confused and wants to favour action over doubt, even if that action means ending his life. But life, when Yov thinks about it and thinks back on it, is still wonderful and worthwhile even when it is doubtful and hesitant.
In fact, Yov long ago came to cherish moments and times of uncertainty as privileged. It is in fact often when Yov doesn’t know what to do that Yov celebrates the underlying uncertainty of life that is only revealed when Yov is not instrumentalised, not busy, not working, not used for this or that task or purpose.
Creativity lies somewhere between useful work and this kind of unattributed time. Creativity occurs, often under some kind of pressure and yet always in that special realm where Yov knows that what is being done, made, worked doesn’t HAVE TO BE done, made or worked. It is a choice of some kind, and ultimately a pleasurable choice.
It is in fact – despite many trials, struggles and tribulations- invariably and ultimately a joy to make a drawing, a song, a film, an installation, a photograph. Creativity is a way of insisting on joy in a world of workers working, often doing jobs they dislike, simply to remain on a treadmill of mortgage payments and keeping up the appearance of fashion, cool, style and modernity.
But Yov has to go, rushing, today even more than any other day this week, yes, to work, but the best kind of work, creative work, with other creative people. Perhaps the fruits of all this will make the lives of others, trapped on the packed tube trains and buses, and dodging the crowded pavements, somehow more joyful and fulfilled too. Yov can’t even write 750 words this week “599” is all there’s time for …