I’m writing my first full-length album, UGLY, and yesterday I (finally) finished the first demo — meaning, it’s finally ready to get sent to a mixing engineer.
1 song down, 10 more to go.
Very early on in the production process, which officially began about 6 months ago (or a year, but what is Time anyway?), I knew I had been initiated into something enormous. Something so far beyond me, that I would make a fool of myself trying to rationalize or verbalize it. That would be like trying to thrash your way out of the Ocean.
So, I surrendered. I let the current take me…
Around the time I committed to writing UGLY, I got laid off from my job of 6.5 years. The job I thought I’d have forever. My security. My “safe” career path. My easy paycheck, which subsidized all my creative endeavors.
Gone, in an instant.
It took me a few weeks to figure out that the album had done this.
The album had made me lose my job.
How do I know this? I gno it the same way I gno anything else: I gno it in my bones. In my blood. In my sensitive, intuitive, primal body.
I knew that I had to go through this period of not having a safety net to fall back on, of moving head-on into unfathomable darkness, of having no idea where my Life was headed. I knew I had to endure this, to become brave.
This album — horrifying, intense, electric Woman that She is — would not have a coward write her.
It’s a strange thing, being a lifetime Artist. You begin to see patterns other people can’t see.
When I produced my full-length play, GYNX, my life — and my identity — dissolved and rearranged around it. What might’ve been ~just another gig~ to the actors and crew involved, was a full-on initiation for me. The play was about vigilante women who castrate rapists. Unsurprisingly (in retrospect, anyway), I was sexually assaulted during the production process, by a man I’d willingly seduced. I’ve never admitted that publicly before, but, now feels like the time.
So when the play ended, having won two awards, everyone asked me “What’s next?”
But I simply couldn’t answer them. I could only try to sleep and forget.
Months passed. Then years. I had abruptly dropped the momentum of a successful play that could’ve been something bigger, something mainstream. Because now I knew — subconsciously at first, because who on Earth wants to gno this after being raped? — I knew in the frightening, visceral way that I gno things — that this play wasn’t just a play.
For this thing to come through me — this sick, slicing theatrical production about Dark Femininity — I, the Artist, had to be it. I had to become it. For the intangible concept to be fleshed-out into something tangible that others could experience, it needed to be known — it needed me to know it — firsthand, in flesh and blood. So the cosmos rearranged itself, as it does, and I was gutted and flayed and sewn back together just in time to watch my “play” “performed” onstage, while the play of my life blossomed into that same trauma lived by the “fictional characters.”
Art within Art.
The Artist creating the Art creating the Artist creating the Art… ad infinitum.
They say that’s what Life is: a dream within a dream.
I gno that now.
I learned from GYNX (“jinx” is quite an appropriate name, I am realizing as I write this—an irresponsible, idiotic, unconscious hex upon myself) that The Artist doesn’t have the luxury of being unaffected, untransformed, by that which is created through them.
That’s why the Art chooses us. It needs a medium — a medium that can be molded, colored-in, carved, sculpted, edited, deconstructed and brought back together into a fractalized symbolic expression of the Ideal it represents. The Artist is that medium.
The Art made Art out of me.
Sick, traumatizing Art.
Using my Life — my body parts, my social circle… indeed, my Self! — as mere symbols to convey a message, from my own subconscious to my conscious, in order to dissolve the two together into one unified thing.
Solvet et Coagula: dissolve and coagulate.
Making the unconscious conscious.
It’s no mistake that an Artist’s most profound creation, and a magician’s highest aspiration, are called by the same name:
Magnum Opus, or, The Great Work.
Art is Magick, after all.
And GYNX wasn’t the only time this whole “being created by my creations” thing happened to me. Far from it!
I wrote stories as a girl that, as I grew up, seemed to eerily play out in my life like a script. I’ve met people who are exactly like the characters I invented, in looks and mannerisms. For example, in my surreal novel The Unlimits, the main character has a mental breakdown. In real life, a few months ago, my friend with the same name (who I met years after writing the book) had a mental breakdown almost identical to that of the character I’d written. (Thankfully, the book character does recover in the end.)
A little over a year ago, I became aware that magicians have always used this method to consciously create their reality. It’s called scripting. You write about the thing you wish to experience, as if it’s already true, already happening. Then, it happens.
It’s so easy, you can even do it by accident… which is exactly what I had been doing, up to that point.
A few weeks after I first started intentionally experimenting with scripting my life (which, I’ve learned, makes all the difference—being intentional about it, I mean), I happened to go to a bookstore. While browsing, a particular book caught my eye and practically jumped off the shelf to me. Guess what it was about? A woman who discovers the magical method of scripting and uses it to create her life!
I almost passed out on the spot!!!
I contacted the author to tell her about this mind-blowing synchronicity, and she laughed. “I’ve gotten so many messages over the years from people saying they started scripting their life shortly before finding my book,” she said. “The synchronicities never stop.”
In fact, listen closely, and you’ll hear a lot of artists say this. “The thing happening to my characters is happening to me! It’s the strangest thing!”
The difference between artists and Artists is that the former thinks it’s a “coincidence.”
The latter gnos there’s no such thing.
What’s it “about”? It’s about my spirit animal, the deep sea anglerfish.
She who makes a home of the deep.
She who floats, like a graceful angel, under immense pressure.
She who makes her own Light in the darkness.
She who Loves with her whole heart, and holds nothing back, because she has no fear.
Unlike my sleepwalking past, this time I’m intentionally creating an album that imbues these lessons to the listener… and to myself.
There’s a song on the album about how humans can fly. Another, about manifesting anything you desire. Another, about love of epic proportions. There’s a song about how even ugly creatures can be loved… because no one is too far from God, to experience God’s Love. Not even sea creatures who live too far down in the ocean for mere mortals to reach.
I’ve been in The Deep, with/as the Anglerfish Herself, for months now.
Once I realized that She was creating me as I created an album about Her, I stopped crying about how I lost my job and didn’t know what to do or where to go. I chose, instead, to see the darkness, the pressure, the ugly-scary Unknown, as an opportunity to learn how to make my own light. I chose to trust that God would lead and provide, just as the anglerfish trusts Him.
Wouldn’t you know it: money started flooding into my life, immediately resolving all my fears about unemployment. I met the person I needed to collaborate with, to take the album to the next level. And what was initially a stressful, pressurized production process, became something deeply sensual — erotic, even. Something I float gracefully, yet intensely and intentionally, through. I feel every note. I feel every beat. I feel every lyric. I feel feel feel, like a fish made of smooth silky scales, made to be permeated by the water. I feel the Music, and the immersion of my Being in the cosmic Ocean of bliss, and God’s presence, and Love, and Love, and Love! God, there is so much Love here. There is nowhere that Love is not; I gno this now. Love is everywhere, for everyone. Even in the Unknown. Even in the Dark. Even in the Deep.