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First Fear of Time

December 7, 2006

Internal Memo

To: You

Re: Termination

Since you have consistently failed to use your creative talents for any worthwhile purpose, they have been revoked. The mental exhaustion and extreme physical fatigue you are experiencing is the actual sensation of creativity draining out of you. When it is completely gone, you may experience severe withdrawal symptoms including but not limited to depression, disorientation, amnesia, headaches, and occasional flu-like symptoms. These will eventually be followed by the sensation that you are a completely normal person. Of course, this will seem unusual to you at first, but in time you will adjust to it, and the dim and distant memory of having an imagination will fade. You will feel satisfied and content with your ordinary life,and will no longer suffer from intense cravings to express yourself artistically.

We request that you gather up all of your journals and sketchbooks and package them in plain, unmarked boxes. These should be left outside by the back gate. They will be collected and put in storage until some future lifetime affords you both the desire and the opportunity to be creative once again.

Thank you for your prompt attention and cooperation in this matter.

Sincerely,

The Powers That Be

by Whiskey River

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  1. December 7, 2006 at 9:24 am

    Wow. Shocking. Stunning. Definitely, you don’t risk receiving such a communication!

  2. December 7, 2006 at 12:57 pm

    Ack!

  3. December 7, 2006 at 1:39 pm

    Yikes, my worst nightmare! You haven’t lost your imagination yet, Whisky River, judging by this clever writing.

  4. the sylph
    December 7, 2006 at 1:59 pm

    This is brilliant. It’s also the sad and true story of the creative person who suffers manic depression…the drugs flatten everything out until there is no spark.

  5. December 7, 2006 at 10:39 pm

    I was very struck by this, whiskey – by its humor and tragic truth intermixed: that we really do have the fear that this might happen! The Sylph’s comment is sobering, too. Quite wonderful writing – thank you.

  6. December 8, 2006 at 12:27 pm

    :)

  7. December 8, 2006 at 4:27 pm

    Profondo apprezzamento!

    Funny, and not funny, that we have that fear of squandering our talents.
    What purpose does it serve, I wonder?
    Is it what gives us ambitions and dreams, or is it just there to drive us crazy?

    And what would be the reply?

    To The Powers It May Concern,

    You can have my creativity when you pry it from my cold, dead fingers.

    Sincerely,
    The Individual In Question

    (Yes, I think so.)

  8. December 8, 2006 at 9:55 pm

    … Ah! Fiction. Whew. You fed too many of us this November to fear this. We’ll all sign a petition to force a reinstatment. No normalcy for you, dear.

  9. December 10, 2006 at 12:01 pm

    Love this! Thanks for sharing it.

  10. December 11, 2006 at 5:56 pm

    (o)

  11. December 13, 2006 at 11:20 am

    We are the Powers That Be and we wholly and categorically reject this communication you received on a fake letterhead purporting to be from us. It is nothing but Spam and must be reported to Spam assassins who know how to assassinate such impostors without leaving any incriminating evidence. Rest assured that we, the Only Authentic Powers That Be, hold you and your creativity in high esteem and have no doubts whatsoever that it is fully functional, even during periods of hibernation which from time to time we recommend.
    Yours Faithfully,
    The Genuine P.T.B

  12. December 13, 2006 at 2:31 pm

    Natalie, you’re scaring me!

  13. December 29, 2006 at 5:12 pm

    Natalie, I apologize for this comment being so late, but being that I was halfway around the world sitting at your kitchen table when you mentioned it, I think you’ll let me off the hook?

    I think you’re on to something here, though, most definitely. At some point in their lives, every aspiring artist runs into some singular event that challenges their aspirations – some teacher, some critic, some well-meaning friend, some badly-worded advice, that tells us that we can’t possibly believe we can ascend to these creative heights we have envisioned. And we have to make that choice of whether we are going to listen to the roar of failure or the whisper of potential success.

    Yes, do you prove your critics wrong or do you succumb to them? A test of courage, perhaps, to weed out the weak from the strong, the dilettantes from the determined?

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