One thing I have realised, after a few years of writing in the hopes of creating that one masterpiece, is that happiness is detrimental to creation. Not the fleeting kind of joy we get from the small pleasures in life, but the all-consuming happiness that arises from contentment. Happiness just does not provide a fertile-enough mind in which ideas can grow. Though happiness is the final goal every person strives to reach, for an artist, the journey is more rewarding than the goal. The minute an artist gets the impression that he is happy, that he is content, he stops. Rather, his creativity takes a long pause to revel in the newly-achieved happiness and puts a full-stop to the process of generating ideas.
We—if I dare count myself among the artists—keep creating in order to reach our potential, to draw that perfect circle, to create our magnum opus. It’s a never-ending cycle — we are filled with thoughts of our problems and sorrows, guilt and fears; we create in order to give voice to our feelings; we want it to be a perfect reflection of what we tried to imbibe in the art, but to our own critical selves, it is not; so we create something more, something different. Some of our creations, we love more than the others for they are a better reflection of our thoughts. It is the rage, the guilt, the pain, and such feelings that fuel the fires of creation. No matter what the root cause of the ruckus in our minds is, we try to control it, to give vent to it, through our art. Then we might play a particularly angry piece of music, write a heart-wrenching story, set the floor on fire with a pain-filled dance or paint a picture that evokes a thousand different emotions. It would, of course, be preposterous to insinuate that only negative emotions are captured in the creations. There are times when we so yearn to seize that elusive happiness, that we try to recreate it in our art in defiance of the sorrows that control our minds. True happiness, however, is like drinking unicorn blood; it keeps you alive, but the life you live will be cursed — for what is an artist’s life without the urge to create, if not cursed?
That is, no doubt, the reason I am loathe to let go of the unrest in my mind; why, although the path is quite clear, I am afraid to walk towards happiness. I have no wish to be satisfied with my life if that means I can no longer create.
I will forever hold the ideal of happiness in my heart, and perpetually hope that I never achieve it.