When I was a kid, one of my favorite picture books was called “The flat Franz”. It was a story about a boy, who wanted to visit a dear one in another country. But how? Well, for Franz it was easy, since he had the ability to make himself as flat as a sheet of paper. His parents addressed an envelope, put Franz in it and brought him to the post box. Franz happily arrived at the destination he had longed for, resumed his normal shape, and all was good.
I myself had friends and family in another country and was often full of longing to see them. That book made me fantasize about the journey’s I wanted to take, and I so wished I could just flatten myself out to fit in an envelope.
The last few weeks I’ve really felt restless and frustrated, to the degree that my whole body has been tingling. There is so much I want to do and create, and even share with the people I love and the world, and I haven’t been able to even take one single baby step of action. I haven’t figured this state out yet. I wouldn’t say I’m procrastinating. Rebellion, doesn’t really fit either. Laziness? Nope, not this time. This is different and I don’t understand it.
It seems, that wherever I look, and I don’t have to look far – it is enough to turn my eyes to my bookshelf or opening a magazine, looking at the art on my walls, or even check the latest Facebook statuses, everywhere I see inspired creations, read meaningful quotes, hear rich voices… The world, with it’s people and their creations is wonderful and rich, beautiful and lovely, in it’s depth and complexity. AND I JUST FEEL FLAT. Not a yummy “full of expectations for the journey”- flat, as the flat Franz, but empty and grey and uninspired and without AIR. Like a flat tire. Or four. And the tingling in my body comes from the engine that’s running idly, waiting for the tires to be refilled.
If there’s so much I want to create and share – why can’t I really think of anything? Where’s inspiration? The ideas? The belief even, that I have anything to contribute?
A friend and creativity coach suggested that this state might be part of the creative process. That there might be things happening under the surface, that I am not aware of. She also suggested that I write about it. It didn’t feel like it would be pleasant reading for anyone, but then suddenly the memory of the flat Franz popped up and how much I loved that book. Reading about his longing for travel was meaningful to me. Maybe reading about the flatness of a woman who’s trying to find her way in creativity space, might also be meaningful to someone. Shouldn’t that be the case at all, I can feel already, that it was rewarding for me myself to write it. And that’s something, too!
As for now, I’m just going to fantasize that I can be put into an envelope and travel into a different realm until I am through this period of flatness. Once I’m through, not flat anymore, I guess I would have to take a flight home.
15 thoughts on “Flatness”
Thank you for this postcard from the land of flatness, surely a stop for most travelers in the realm of creativity. And thanks for not saying what most people write at the end of a postcard: Wish You Were Here. I get there often enough with no encouragement for others! I love Flat Franz, love how you explore just where you find yourself in this moment. Yes, hoping for a ticket home ASAP, but hanging out with the reality of being four-tire deflated. Please keep writing from where your journey takes you.
Thank you, Paula! Talking to you about this frustrating state really helped me. It was such a relief to hear I’m not the only one visiting this land of flatness. I’m glad you asked me to explore it and you must have waved some magic wand, since you actually got me writing. Thanks!
Your love for colours is contagious! I wanted to put up curtains that exploded in green, red and yellow. But the children protested vehemently: “Mum, I went to bed at 4 o’clock, I want something soothing”. So I chose the perfect hangover-curtains with cute little birds.
I’m so looking forward to visiting ❤ Birds are great!
It seems like your friend was right. Sometimes the solution is to sit down and create anyway, no matter how you feel.
It’s so true – and yet sometimes it feels like there is no “anyway” but just emptiness. It’s really sweet to snap out of that state, and yes, suddenly one has created something out of that emptiness – anyway. That’s really rewarding. Thank you for reading and commenting!
Greetings from Turtlebat Land. We are all feeling flat here too. And like your friend, trusting that is IS part of the process. It’s so strange to be spinning out stories and drawings, then all of a sudden zero zip nada. I am daring myself to clean the clutter out of the “art room” so I can paint and not worry about writing for awhile. Anyway, I want you to know you are not alone, I SO relate!!!
I really like your idea of changing modality – if writing doesn’t work, maybe something else does! I will try that out, too! Thank you!
My Dear! Go on like you are doing! You have found a very right way of expressing yourself and you seem to have just the energi you need to get the ticket to the next station and that which I think will be a surprice……
Thanks mom 🙂
Yes, looking forward to the next station! Hoping it’s GOOD!
WAY COOL. But of course none of us ever feels flat! I’m sure I’m the ONLY soul on earth that will be so moved by this wonderful blog.
Hahaha, Dave! You know, with your curiosity and enthusiasm, it’s quite hard to imagine you in a state of flatness!
Well the occurrences of flatness have been flattening out – and still tapping on those remaining. I am at peace with there being some flatness sometimes.
That really gives me hope, Dave!