The 5 Paragraph Essay

The process of starting to write involves a lot of clearing the mind, searching the mind, coming up empty handed, and then just forcing your fingers to start clacking away on the keyboard. I stared at this mother fucker for a solid 5 minutes before I could bring myself to type anything.

Is that writer’s block? Is that literally all it is? Just the inability to start the task? Part of initializing the writing is thought of the first word, the first sentence, its’ overall point…and then when you bounce a bunch of them around and dislike all of them, then it the whole idea of writing becomes slightly painful. Truly, it’s a blessing that I get the opportunity to sit down and write every day. So is it really painful? Not really. But it becomes more of a struggle, like a workout when you’re already exhausted. When ideas come instantly, that’s when it’s fun. When there’s problems that you need to work through, it’s easier to write through them. When you’re just pretty Zen with life and enjoying what you have, it’s actually harder to create something.

So in essence, creation comes from some sort of passionate feeling, whether it be pain, love, excitement, a particular topic of interest…without the feeling, what the fuck am I writing for? And without the discipline, it’s quite easy to just walk away. But on the other hand, this isn’t a 5 paragraph essay that’s due tomorrow. What cookie cutter nonsense that whole sham was. 5 paragraph essays that teach you how to write in a particular structure, but yet the best writers on the planet don’t write with ANY structure. The best writers on the planet write in an artistic and expressive manner. Their writing is their expression. Tolkien built an entire universe of characters, races, cities, history, etc. At no point in time did he EVER write a 5 paragraph essay.

There world we navigate through has so much structure that people forget how to operate without it. Have you ever met the person that doesn’t allow free-time for themselves? The same person that HAS to always be busy? I know I’ve written about such a person before, but they’re a great example of what excessive structure does to a person. Without leisure, relaxation, or just time to just … “be”, it’s difficult to let the Muse feed you her brilliance as you’re too busy talking over her. The 5 paragraph essay, the 5 day workweek, the business hours of 9-5, the whole “go to college, get a job, work a career, white picket fence with a house and cookouts, retire and move to Florida,” the list of human fuckery goes on and on. Our society revolves around the rules and the foundation of societal norms that were laid before us…for better and for worse.

But here’s the thing, do you have a better idea? The society we live in has a lot of backdoor dealings. shit’s happening behind the curtains and we’re not able to see it… but in the back of our minds, we all know the rich get richer and all we can do is play their game. If we were to start from scratch and you could lay an entirely new economic system, way of life, and societal norms…could you lay a better foundation? Many before you have tried. What’s always stood the test of time is the life we’re navigating through now.

I’m grateful that I was born in a country where we have so much opportunity and so much is taken care of already. Running water, shelter, trash collection, programs for people down on their luck, opportunity for success at every corner, libraries, internet, we have it GOOD. Could things be better? Certainly. Should we try to improve the society we live in? Most definitely. If we always let the people at the top get away with everything, they’d be closer to the ultimate win, whatever that might look like. I watch a lot of those post-apocalyptic and dystopian futuristic movies, I read the books too (admittedly, the ratio is heavily skewed to movies)…and everytime, when the powerful are left unchecked, they seem to take over the world while the society turns into serfdom times with the kings and the peasants…but with more robots and flying cars.

The 5 paragraph essay wasn’t the beginning, but when my college professor slapped us all with our papers and explained why it was holding us back, it was a huge lesson to start to forget much of what we learned. Structure is great for a little kid. It teaches them to stay disciplined when they’re chasing a goal, to go to bed on time so that you’re able to operate properly the next day, or just to take a shit in the morning so that you don’t hold it until a very inopportune time and then take a massive shit in your bed.

Now, a much older and wiser Kris thinks about how much bullshit he learned in the past is holding him back. This isn’t really a reference to any trauma, coping mechanisms, etc…but more of a thought about our past lessons and how we were all conditioned to always color inside the lines. Perhaps our crayons should have been a bit more adventurous in their explorations of the pages. Why color in an elephant when you could give the elephant another set of tusks coming out of its’ eyeballs. Why not a trunk out of its’ butt as well? Were we being conditioned to be rule followers since day 1? Why were we never taught how to be creative or think outside the box? Even in art class we’d get graded on how much we actually met the criteria of the assignment.

Isn’t art about expression? Isn’t it about the passion within ourselves? How could a “good” teacher force us to meet her criteria for a sponge painted fall mountainside in New England? We were graded on our technique, not what we expressed.

Build your own structure, express yourself, and give the elephant more trunks. Maybe an elephant that’s like an octopus…it has 8 trunks! 4 trunks for legs, a trunk for the nose, the butt, and the ears. 8. 8 trunks. Trunkephant. Eletrunk. Maybe it’s amphibious too. And it hunts octopi.

About krisoakey

Simply a man playfully chasing enlightenment while encouraging others to join him through mockery, logical anomalies, and hand holding...LOTS of hand holding
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