Last week I received some unwelcome news. The particulars aren’t important, but my reaction was: I wanted nothing more than to retreat to my office and write. I would hide from the real world for a time within a domain I’d contrived.
In the wonderful movie Amadeus, there is a scene in which Mozart retreats to his billiard table (on which sheets of music are scattered) to compose, having received some bad news. He doesn’t heed the demands of this new information; he doesn’t seem to have any emotional reaction at all. Instead, the composer turns his back on the world outside his door and creates.
Although most critics agree that the entire premise of Amadeus is contrived (which doesn’t matter to me – it remains one of my favorites), the truth of Mozart’s reaction in that scene was spot on. Rather than acknowledge what this unwelcome information meant and would eventually demand, the composer retreated into his contrived world.
Most of us will opt to return to the land of reality, eventually. When we decide that the demons must be faced, we do. When the real world makes it demands again, despite our best efforts, we won’t turn aside forever – just for a time.
I like having a world in which to retreat. A world where everything happens as I plan and people speak the words I want them to speak and others react as I intended. A world I can hold and mold and wander in whenever I want, wherever I desire.
I will visit there again. But for now, the real world knocks (hard).