Just when you thought the world couldn’t get nuttier, the next day brings even more crazy- especially here in the USA. Being the sensitive type, I have had to develop strategies to keep a healthy level of sanity & stay creative. It’s still there- the good, the beauty, the hope. One just has to turn off the noise of all the negativity and reach for happy……
It was 1967. I was 14 years old and a freshman in high school. The Beatles had come out with their latest album “Yellow Submarine.” Mixed in amongst other memorable songs was this one…
“When I’m Sixty Four”
When I get older losing my hair Many years from now Will you still be sending me a valentine Birthday greetings, bottle of wine? If I’d been out till quarter to three Would you lock the door? Will you still need me, will you still feed me When I’m sixty-four?
I have no trouble coming up with creative ideas. It’s fear that is the creative’s nemesis. Really, that’s what a creative block is, just plain old fear. Sometimes you have to look under your creative bed and make friends with the monster.
The opposite of courage
The backside of love & creativity
Its tendrils approach from behind
Silently wrapping themselves around your neck
Until you are paralyzed
Suffocating in its sticky web
Ultimately it is your breath that will save you
From these paper thin bonds
Grab a breath deep into your soul
Allowing another, and yet another
Until your life force finally finds a foothold
To break free from the spinning chaos
Choose earth, choose nature, choose good
Choose whatever infinite force is truth to you
Grab its hand and pull yourself up
Keep your gaze forward, never down
And walk quickly across the precarious bridge to the other side
The studio is cleaned and I am occupying myself with small tasks
that have gone by the wayside in favor of loftier goals. That would include painting my hallway, mending, making greeting cards, and doing a bit of experimentation with using my slab roller (for clay) as a printing press.
Taking stock of my situation, I am in a creative “eddy.” As a kayaker, I find that the sport and rivers offer so many metaphors for life. For those of you unfamiliar with the term, eddy, it is “ a circular movement of water, counter to the main current, causing a small whirlpool”. You find these on the back side of rocks or behind a point that extends out into a river. Sometimes you get sucked into them inadvertently, and other times you purposely “eddy-out” to get out of the flow of the river to rest and regroup Continue reading “Perspective From a Creative Eddy”→
It happens sometimes to creatives- your head is filled with a party of ideas & inspirations and then all of a sudden the party is over. You’re left with a bunch of rubble, an empty room, and a creative hangover. That’s where I am at. I’ve been here before and it’s not fun. You feel lost, lonely & a sense of despair. The one thing I do know “This too shall pass” (but not without some effort).
Parties can’t go on indefinitely. At some point, you need to rest & recharge. The first step is to clean up after the party- literally. I am doing a total cleanup of my studio. On Saturday I swept down my cement floor, got rid of unnecessary items that lined the walls and occupied the floor and then hosed down the entire thing. Afterward, it smelled fresh and sweet. Today I am cleaning and organizing my table surfaces. For some reason cleaning my physical space also cleans my mental space. It’s not a cure-all but sure is a positive start to make room for new ideas. Best of all- It’s something I can do now and feel good about.
I wrote the following poem at my low point (also posted on “Poet’s Corner”). I look forward to hearing the songs of birds again.