I’ll tell you something. The crash is real.
The Quiet gets in your bones like a sub-zero freeze.
The need for the next fix, the next gush of acceptance, and roar of approval. The true high you get from the connections and the applause is unparalleled. While you’re in the middle of it, nothing can touch you. Nothing else matters. You feel unstoppable and invincible. You thrive in the movement, the exhaustion, the absolute immediacy of response. You are alive!
Then comes the Quiet. So big and so empty. So much void to sit in and feel alone. But you’re not alone. Unfortunately, in the Quiet, you are never alone. You look around and recognize those who live there. At first, you can just make out their shapes. You try to convince yourself that, maybe, if you stay very still, they won’t see you. They won’t try and pull you back down to their level. They will just go away. But, not in the Quiet. In there, one breath is detectable. One small shift in position, one sniffle. And, before you can save yourself, before you have time to shake yourself out of it, there you are, circled by the familiar spirits.
Like an AA meeting, you sit next to your peers, Doubt, Questioning, Mockery. There are others there too. New faces that come and go. Like riding a bike, albeit an old, uncomfortable one, you take turns introducing yourselves, week after week, in the Quiet, in the aftermath. You confess your addiction and own your fears. Your admittance to the thrill of the movement, and the chaos, and the abundant admiration, has bonded you together, dulling the demons temporarily, and silencing the arguments. You try to discuss why it’s important to continue, why there is merit in what you do, and, honestly, why it’s not just about the outer validation or immediate rush of importance you feel. You truly think you’re making a difference.
Doubt is always the first to speak up.
“But what happens when there is no more? You’re not getting any younger, and people will stop listening. The ‘difference’ you think you’re making is so inconsequential.”
Questioning quietly says, “I mean, WHO are you REALLY anyway? Always changing. Always striving. Aren’t you tired? Do you think you’re fooling anyone? WHY are you even doing this? WHAT is the point?”
Obviously, Mockery can not contain themself, “You are a joke. The people who love you are even more of a joke for doing so. No one of any REAL consequence or value has ever even heard of you. Just listen back to yourself… Would YOU even like you?”
The Quiet gets in your bones. You stiffen. You get brittle and feel as though you may break.
But, the cold will never stand a chance against the Fire.
The biggest, most beautiful, deepest, and most glorious fire exists, just outside where the Quiet lives.
The Fire burns continuously, and without apology. The Great Fire that was lit so many, many years ago. This Fire that has been tended lovingly and diligently by The Creative. The one who sits near it and assures that it never completely goes out. There are times it needs stoking. There are logs that need to be fed to it in order for it to rage even brighter than before. And The Creative, sometimes slowly, sometimes with urgency, maintains this beautiful, central force. Whether fueled by small kindling ideas just to maintain, or devouring giant trunks of inspiration, the Fire comes in, just in time to battle the cold. The Creative lights torches from its molten center and charges into the Quiet, pulls you from the familiar spirits, just before you begin to listen to their words and succumb to them. The Creative reminds you that you and she are ONE. YOU have tended the Fire that YOU started so many, many years ago. And, even alongside of Doubt, Questioning, Mockery and all the others, YOU will be ok. You will find warmth from the cold. YOU will continue building the Fire. And YOU…
YOU will make music in the Quiet.