My daughter has been to many cons (conventions) in her short life. And she always talked of the 'con funk.' It's a feeling (at least from what I'm experiencing now), of bittersweet melancholy. I never understood it when she would talk about it. I figured it was just exhaustion and she just needed to rest or get to bed early that night she got home so she would be well rested the next day and she would be OK to function back in the real world.
I'm sitting here, though, 90 minutes away from when I have to be back at work. Yeah...stupid on my part not to take the whole day off. And I'm sitting here thinking....fuck. I really don't want to go back. I still need to process everything that happened at Imaginarium.
But the truth is, I don't. I don't need to process what happened at the Imaginarium convention this past weekend.
I know exactly what happened.
I lived a 72 hour waking dream of a (hopefully) prophetic nature.
I saw the lifecycle of the writer played out before me. From the fledgeling scribe who just set pen to paper last week all the way up to the established authors who are gods among men to some of this crowd. I saw the beautiful story arc of someone who can't help but write to get these thoughts out of their head and somehow those words...that music on the page that they produce resonates with others and both are healed.
I saw-I lived- all of that.
And I saw my place in all of that. I saw where I came from. I saw where I could go.
The power of that....the sheer blessing of actually living that dream in real time and experiencing the beginning, middle, and ending of that whole process is mind blowing.
It was a safe bubble in which I could say, "I'm a writer. And sometimes I feel like I'm broken. And the only way to even come close to feeling somewhat whole or at least together again is to put these funny symbols on a page and hope they somehow move someone else." Then to have someone looking knowingly across the table as they finish their bourbon and give me that look like, "I know exactly what the fuck you mean, my brother. Welcome to the tribe."
What writers know--and what is sometimes hard for non-writers to pick up on-is that much of the time, the worlds I'm putting on paper, the lives there, are more real to me than my own life most of the time.
That's a hard thing to reconcile because the denizens of the real world tell us creative types that that's not normal.
But for me it is.
It was real, too, for most of the attendees and guests of Imaginarium I'd wager.
THAT is what is making this day so hard.
There was, for a brief three days, a world where it was ok to be fucked up. Where being damaged WAS the normal. I have yet to meet a perfectly well adjusted person who calls themselves a writer. That was the magic of the weekend.
That was the intoxication more powerful than any drug.
And that's why this hangover is hitting harder than any I've felt in my life.
I will work through this. I will draw from it. I will take the lessons I've learned and become a better writer. Because otherwise, what was the point of being shown the vision of what could be if I don't take the active steps to get there?