Sunday, May 16, 2010




: of, relating to, or resembling Prometheus, his experiences, or his art; especially : daringly original or creative

When I was younger, before I lost weight and still had a poor self-image, I would often fantasize that my body could transform into clay, at which point I would mold it to my liking. I pictured myself actually pulling chunks of clay off my body and discarding them. My fantasies didn't often bother with logistics—how would I be proportioned correctly? Wouldn't I want the assistance of a plastic surgeon, or even an artist? How would my insides feel when they were made of clay? I was simply imagining the quickest and easiest way to transform myself into something more desirable.

Prometheus is said to have shaped the first humans out of clay and endowed them with the spark of life by means of fire stolen from Zeus. His punishment was being tied to a rock and having his liver torn at by an eagle every day for eternity.

There is nothing PROMETHEAN about my desperation to change my body into clay. It is not daringly creative or original, it is only mildly pathetic and the first thing I think of when I think of creating humankind from clay.

I'm not sure of the last PROMETHEAN act I performed. I can think of dozens of things I do that are creative (original means little to me), but there is something in the adverb daringly that complicates this. There is now an element of risk to the creation in question—the stealing of fire from Zeus for the betterment of man. I'm not sure I can say I have done this. Of course, I have committed bold acts, acts of spontaneity, risky endeavors, but they are generally acts of escape or initiation. Not creativity.

Maybe, as an artist, I need to think more about this. I try to push boundaries in my writing, but I am not pushing hard enough. The moments in which I do push, I get a rush, I know I'm doing something right. But it is a precipice—

—I'm standing on the Burnside bridge, on the viewing platform of the Empire State, sitting in a window of a manmade castle on Sleeping Giant. All the high places. And I am always so, so close.

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