Voice isnâ€™t something you teach or coach. There is no â€œone wayâ€ to do things. There is no â€œproper,â€ no â€œperfect.â€ There is only flux, and furthermore flux that responds differently from the causality of different personalities.
To try and influence voice is to try and influence God with godlessness. There is only self, and self is determined by a lifetime of exposure and adaptation to all, or spirit, or God, or Nature, or life force, or whatever it is that you call upon or worship or put your faith in.
There are those who try to control voice. Passively or actively, some do it to themselves while others try to create what they see as right, everywhere they go. They see voice as tractable. They are the teacher who only passes failing grades and they are the misguided religious extremists (this being ALL extremes). They are those who fail to find their own voice because they have faith in nothing and believe what is told to them. They are the quitters who strive only to see others quit and become apathetic. They are those who do not understand that voice is individual. That voice is creative, chameleon, and true.
And creativity cannot be forced, it can only be allowed. No job, no art, no work will ever be said to be worse for being creative. This applies not only aesthetically, but also scientifically. Not only in beauty, but in form and in function. An artist may see a flower and see beauty in color, a scientist in biological process, a gardener in growth and vitality. A tone cacophonous to one is sonically enlightening to another. It is simple to one brain and transfixing to the next. It is green to one mind and verde to another.
Voice is written word, it is brush-stroked paint, it is molded clay. Voice means no wrong notes and no bad ideas. Voice is light and dark, brooding, miserable, angry, happy, silly, hilarious, pensive, thoughtful and thoughtless. It is mood. Voice is the effect of causes gone on for hundreds of years or only fragments of seconds.
To ignore voice is to ignore the self. To ignore the self is to ignore the infinite universe. And to ignore the infinite universe is to turn oneâ€™s back on life. See through your own eyes, hear through your own ears, and affect change with your own hands â€“ all-stemming from your own self.
All this to me is truly voice. Not impressing someone, not doing as others do, not adhering strictly to form. A voice nurtured to be itself will impress all, it will both comply with form and add to it something unique and beautiful and possibly even â€œwrongâ€ to it, and it will improve it. Nurture voice, do not fight it.
You should put that to music, something odd and dissonant, but quiet in the background. And then you should read it in a soothing monotone.
And I will listen to it as I fall asleep…
sometimes I think you should just stand there and look pretty rather than trying to speak/write. Actually, scratch that. I ALWAYS think you should just stand there and look pretty rather than trying to speak/write.
Bee – It’s bad enough you stare at that huge poster of me above your bed that you stole from J Ghaff. I’m not giving you aural stimulation too.
Megan – Oh which way shall I respond to this comment? I know, how about all of them?
1) Yeah, I wouldn’t expect you to understand it.
2) At least I can still stand here and look pretty. Your blog sucks, AND you’re ugly.
3) Maybe I should get really drunk and bother everyone sight by hugging them and not letting go. Maybe that would be a more effective way of getting people to like me…oh wait, I don’t care if people like me.
4) You’re right. What I should post is regurgitated trash from TV shows and movies, yet adopt it as my own and then sit back and marvel at how clever I am.
5) Andy’s suggested reading list for the creatively challenged:
a) Power vs. Force
b) Way of the Peaceful Warrior
c) The Artist’s Way
There are more but I doubt you’d get much past the acknowledgements in any of them.
"Said" Woman says
I love your essay. I keep coming back to this post because there are so many inspirational thoughts and images. You are making it very hard for me to make some snarky comment with this…
See? Said Woman likes me!
But seriously, if you like this essay you should check out those books I mention above, they’re really good. Also the philosophy book I’m reading now is cool to – Modern Answers to Age Old Questions or something like that.
Bonnie M. says
Dear Andy, You may think you’re funny, but you’re wrong. to call you “weird” would be a compliment. You’re an asshole, and you shouldn’t be okay with that. you’re ugly. on the inside. and your blog sucks. plus you’re mean.
Why are you so cranky? I’ll hug you through it. Come here.
I, too, will bookmark this post. I’ll come back to it when I start to wonder if there is anything more self-indulgent than blogging itself. You’ve attained a new wondrous level of masturbatory. Congratulations!
Bonnie – Funny is an understatement – in fact I find myself charming, hilarious witty, and an all around good guy. So cram it.
Meg – Dear Moron. The blog is called “Well, at least I think I’m funny.” I write it for myself. Not for you, or for anyone. Why shouldn’t a blog be self-indulgent? I like my ideas. And at the very least, I can say that they’re in my own VOICE (see what I did there?). Get back to me when you say something relevant. Or at the very least snarky.
Dear the rest of Meg’s friends who are upset,
Please stop defending someone whose ideas I ridiculed. In case you didn’t notice, she did the exact same thing to me. I guess she’s funny cause she’s your friend and I’m mean cause I’m some guy you’ve never met. Or you’re all on the same cycle. Either way.
So wait. No hug? Come here. Just come here. And take your own advice about relevance, love. I’m sure you do like your own ideas, but your essay reminds me of those horrid striped duster sweaters (circa late ’90s) that don’t even match themselves. Don’t you agree?
And you’re not mean because we’ve never met. You’re mean because, I think, you have really low self-esteem and a compulsive need to overcompensate for your shortcomings. Do you want to talk to me about your relationship with your parents? I’m willing to make some time.
There is a opera night in my hood. bare with me, I just read the first two paragraphs, but I felt the same ways about the ladies in my hood. The completely sucked. Thursday night was opera night and I have had opera training and I have actually had a pretty good voice. Very sweet and unassuming. But these bitches were loud and unattractive. They suffocated us with their lover. Otherwise they would have been great!
You might want to read the entire post before commenting. Just sayin’…
Andy, what’s with all the freaky Megs? Ugh.
It’s less the poster of you hanging over my bed that should have you worried, but the fact that I had your image tattooed on the insides of my eyelids so I can see you even when my eyes are closed.