I was a HUGE fan of “Lost” while it aired. Huge. I had various Lost-related t-shirts, I discussed theories with people online after each new episode, and my roommates always knew that on Wednesday nights the living room belonged to me (this was before everything was shown online the day after, before we had Netflix or Hulu).
|I even brought my fandom into my garden – I lived in Florida when the series started, and, well, I felt my yard needed a polar bear.|
There’s a weird sort of mantra I’ve taken from the series…well, it’s weird to people who know the series, since it wasn’t exactly the most positive line/phrase a character ever uttered…in fact, the character who said it died immediately after saying it.
Okay, context: so the character Sawyer was not a very nice guy before crashing on the island, but it was for a good reason, which was that he was looking for the man who was responsible for his parents’ death, and blah blah backstory. He thought he found this man in Australia, shot and killed him, but it turns out that he was set up to do this by another guy – the man Sawyer killed was not the one who killed his parents, but someone who owed the other guy money. (This was actually one of the least convoluted storylines on the show, astonishingly enough.) Before the guy died, he said (of the money he owed), “I was going to pay it…it’ll come back around.”
I could write a whole essay here about how “it’ll come back around” was really one of the themes of the show: about how history repeats and our lives are cyclical, and how what the characters did eventually caught up to them, karmically, either on the island or at some other point in their lives. But I did enough Lost rambling online, in forums and blogs, from 2004 to 2010, enough to fill several books, so I won’t do any more right now. 😉
|Not the Lost island, just Lido Key. Fewer polar bears, but just as many weird people.|
The point is, I’ve found myself thinking of this phrase often in my life, when things worry me, or more specifically, when I worry that I’ve lost something. In times when artistic inspiration was scarce for me, I was comforted by thinking, “it’ll come back around” – even if at the time I felt like I might never be motivated to do art again. Unemployed and badly lacking money? It’ll come back around. Feeling lonely? It’ll come back around. Missing home or school or a way of life I no longer have? It’ll come back around. It’s just another way of saying “this too shall pass.”
We artists sometimes sit around and wait to be “inspired,” or feel like ideas should fall out of the sky into our laps, and when this doesn’t happen it frustrates us. But creativity is not a limited resource, it’s not like you have a lifetime supply and when it’s gone it’s gone. No matter how uninspired you’re feeling, it can come back around. I’ve found it can be cyclical, and I can have an off week, month, or even off years, but it always comes back. Or rather, I bring it back.
So if you’re feeling uninspired, keep going about your life and practicing your art whenever you can, even if you feel like all the art you do is terrible – it’s not. It’ll come back around.