Appetite in all its guises is a wonderful thing.
The husband is a man of enormous appetites, and I love him for it. I struggle a little with my appetites sometimes, finding it more difficult to let loose the hedonist in me. She’s a dangerous creature.
I’ve been thinking about this long and hard, today, though, and I’ve decided that appetite is a key component to creativity... perhaps even a critical one.
My favourite people, and I include the husband and the daughter on this list, have all been clever, creative men and women with enormous appetites.
Sometimes, they’re betrayed by who they are, and we all come to know their reputations for drink or drugs, or sex or gambling, or whatever it may be. I’ve even heard people bemoaning the fates of these creatives and the private misery they sometimes leave in their wakes, and I wonder if I would ever do the same. I find myself wondering whether the really talented among the debauchers are actually all that difficult to forgive, in the end. I sort of doubt it.
I know that on those days when everything seems fresh and spangly and amazing, when the coffee really smells great, and food is unbearably delicious, when every picture on every wall demands my full attention and when I can’t get enough of a great song... I know that on those days when the hairs go up on the back of my neck in anticipation of some hedonistic pleasure or another... I know that the writing, too, will be well worth the effort.
I know that the time at my keyboard will fly past. I know that every word will be nuanced and beautiful to me, that the phrasing will be just so, the rhythm crisp and precise, and the energy transcendent.
When my appetites are heightened, when I feel alive in the world and all my senses are tingling... That’s when I’m my favourite writer. That’s when everything is possible.
Of course, it’s a bloody long time and a lot of distance between that day and the day the book might arrive in your hand, but I can’t help thinking that those days filled with hedonistic wonder make a difference to you, too. I certainly hope they do.