Until I started dating my boyfriend, I never really gave a second thought about Jim Morrison. There were only three things about Morrison familiar to me beforehand: he fronted the Doors, was handsome and sexy, and died of a drug overdose at a very young age. Other than that, I wasn’t very familiar with his life, his inspirations, or many of his songs.
However, my boyfriend Jim gave me further exposure to Morrison. We watched the Oliver Stone film “The Doors” last summer and listened incessantly to Jim’s Doors CDs. From there, my interest in Morrison kind of grew. Because of this further exposure, I further understand the late singer’s charismatic yet self-destructive nature.
Last week, I purchased a book of Morrison’s poems, “Wilderness.” I heard that in addition to songwriter, filmmaker and singer he wrote poetry, but I never read his poems until I bought the book. He writes as beautifully as he looked. Some of his poems are laid out side by side with copies of the original drafts from his notebook. He is not afraid to be raw and passionate, yet mysterious. A section of one poem resonates with me:
Why do I drink?
So that I can write poetry.
Sometimes when it’s all spun out
and all that is ugly recedes
into a deep sleep
There is an awakening
and all that remains is true.
As the body is ravaged
The spirit grows stronger.
This poem illustrates what many writers go through: they battle with their emotions, and they don’t know how to cope with them. Some drink and then write. They desire to let their creativity loose, all the while nursing their injured souls. Honesty may be ugly when the writer works through them by putting them down on paper or on the computer screen. But in the end, when the writer feels calmer, the writer could step back and reassess what he or she has written. From there he or she could realize that what’s written is okay, because it the truth.