January 29, 2010

Oh Creative One! They are celebrating Robert Burns Day today at his Scots primary school. A sea of kilt clad wee-uns met us at the ground’s gates. It was such fun! But, before the fun, my son had a tantrum, one in which he was sure that the world was imploding, his toys were self-combusting,and his life was to be in RUINS FOREVER. All because he couldn’t find and then couldn’t reach the red kilt we bought at a tourist shop last year. In the midst of this searching-for-the-kilt tantrum, we found the following: his missing school uniform tie, clean underwear, dirty underwear, a birthday card from his buddy, a beloved car, Gordon the stuffed dog, and a tidy bedroom floor.

Lovely Creative One! A bit of uncomfortable self-made chaos doesn’t mean that the world is out to get you. My advice to you is the same as it is to my son. Take a deep breath.  Be amazed and thankful for what you do find in the swirling mist. Wear what you find, if it’s acceptably clean. Have fun. See you Monday…


and refuse thy name

January 28, 2010

Oh Creative One! My son has a classmate that is the “chancer” in the group. It is a positive word used to describe a boy that is exasperating at times and ingenious at others. Some classmate or friend or teacher or lover has called your work by a name. A good name, a questionable name, but a name. It is the name that sticks. It is the word that has crept in and the word that you use to evaluate your work as yours. Is your work “refreshing” or “delightful” or “sad” or “rough” or “gloomy?” You know that word that I’m talking about.

Named Creative One! That classmate might be a “chancer,” but he might also only be a 5 year old boy figuring out his world. Maybe next week or maybe next year he will be a “thinker” or “a funny one” or  “a caring sort” if he weren’t saddled with a name already. Remember all that you love about your work. Deny yourself those names you’ve taken as your own. Find new ones that more aptly describe just how you are figuring out your world with your art.

January 27, 2010

Oh Creative One! It is a traditionally rainy day in Glasgow. The Scots word for this weather is “dreich.” A little rain, a little wind, low clouds, a chill you might not be able to remedy with a sweater. On the way to my son’s school, my 2 y.o. daughter dropped her stuffed dog, Gordon, in the puddle. She also slipped in the mud despite holding my hand and then wailed when she fell a second time and then she decided to enjoy the mud with loads of splashing and then a tantrum because her pants and shoes and socks were unbearably wet and dirty. A 5 minute walk took 20 minutes and we were late. Though I became grumpy with the persistent and interrupting tantrums, my daughter learned so very much. Gravity can be a drag, mud is dirty, puddles are fun, wet is not always fun.

Sweet Creative One! Roll up your sleeves, cuff your pants, go play in the mud. Pay no mind to the grumpy impatient ones that surround you. Keep what you learn somewhere safe for later use.


January 26, 2010

Oh Creative One! I am in pain. I had reconstructive jaw surgery when I was younger due to a bike accident that shattered many of the bones in my face. Now I’ve got my first bout of sinusitis in addition to all those pins drilled into my face-bones and I must offer an apology to all those I secretly blew off when they said, “My sinuses are bothering me.” I thought they were talking about party-colored-snot-type-colds. Not pain that makes tooth yanking without medication seem like a fun time. If you think I exaggerate, I don’t. But that’s the point isn’t it?Pain is an odd feeling. We can feel happiness together, laughing at a stand-up comic. We can feel sadness together, watching the events in Haiti unfold. We can feel anger and frustration together, discussing an ex’s passive-aggressive treatment of the kids. But we can’t feel pain together. You can’t feel my sinusitis. You might remember your sinusitis. But you can’t feel it with me. We can feel a hug together when you offer your sympathy, but we can’t feel each other’s pain.

Empathetic Creative One! One of the reasons I appreciate your creativity is because you see things just a bit differently than most. Use this extra-ordinary ability of yours to feel someone else’s pain. Don’t worry, you won’t be subsumed, but you will find that fodder you’ve misplaced.


January 25, 2010

Oh Creative One! This morning my son woke me up whispering, “Mom, I can do the triple-whip. I’ve been practicing in my sleep.” He grinned and patted my head. He waited patiently for me to catch up to the wonders he’d accomplished in his slumber. He’s not one to brag and I rarely know what he’s talking about so I rubbed my eyes, yawned, and said. “Show me.” Sure enough, he can spin 3 times on the ball of his foot. His pals will be impressed.

Oh Whirling Dervish! Your task to today is a three-step process. 1) Wake someone up to the joy you find in your talent. 2) Wait patiently for them to understand the importance of said skill. 3) Proceed to do your spin of wonder with your chosen medium. People will be so thankful you shared after they eat a little something.

…more than you think.

January 22, 2010

Oh Creative One! “She’s not going to eat her baby. She’s just carrying the baby away to a safe dark den. She doesn’t have thumbs. That’s why she uses her mouth.” I’ve neither explained to my son about opposing thumbs nor have I told him how gentle such sharp teeth can be. Yet, this is what my 5 y.o. told to my terrified 2 y.o. while watching a BBC documentary on leopards. They then proceeded to attempt to lick each other like they are leopards cleaning each other’s fur and mewing like baby leopards and then somehow our cuddle-fest turned in to a wrestle-fest and it was difficult to put them down to bed.

Smart Creative One! I’m guessing your piece has a logic and knowledge of which you aren’t cognizant. Much like my son, your piece has figured out the use of its metaphorical thumbs and how to compensate when only large, padded paws are available. Be open to the intelligence created within your piece. You will find comfort and wonders there.

Give Thanks to The Bones

January 21, 2010

Oh Creative One! I went to “Accident and Emergency” here in Glasgow due to the broken littlest toe on my left foot. My husbandlovertype will be leaving for 10 days. I know lots of people who like me and my kids, but I don’t know them like family. I don’t know them enough to help out with non-emergency type injuries. I thought it best to check it out before hubbylovertype left, though I knew A&E would most likely just tape my toe and kick me out the door. Andrew was my Nurse Practioner and he was patient and kind and thorough. We talked about how fast these littles change as his own daughter is 24 with a babe on the way. He knew my toe hurt and that it’s hard to care for others when I hurt, even if it’s just my tiniest toe. I asked him to get his supervisor, he called me daft. I then made him get his supervisor and then I told her how patient and thorough he was even with a little toe and he blushed and his coworkers teased him. I limped out of A&E feeling complete and ready to work.

Patient Creative One! Praise is a wonderful gift, especially when called out unexpectedly for more than one to see. Your task today is to speak highly of someone unexpectedly in his/her presence – to someone else who matters. Tell another mother that her child is imaginative with that child hugging her knees. Tell your barista’s boss what a yummy coffee you received. Tell the sales person’s manager that your day is better for the attention you got while shopping for jeans that don’t make your bum look bummy. Your heart will sing and your work will hum.

Mash Up

January 20, 2010

Oh Creative One! My daughter donned a light-up red-flashing reindeer nose, black fuzzy kitty-cat ears, her brother’s soccer jersey, and floral pink leggings and no underwear. She carried a plastic squirting lizard and a forgotten Christmas bell. She danced barefoot on the couch, shaking the bell and the lizard in time with her personal version of “Old MacDonald” and “Jingle Bells,” last night, the 19th of January. It was funny and beautiful to watch. Sublime, might deny the wonderful tackiness of it all, but the parts definitely made more than I would think when put together.

Dignified Creative One! Cast off your finery! Find your flashing reindeer nose! Wear all that makes you happy! Move your body the way you like! Sing all the songs you enjoy all at once! Make music with forgotten objects! Find out what you can make when it all comes together. Don’t worry! No one will be watching and I promise the outcome will be interesting if not sublime.

January 19, 2010

Oh Creative One! I broke my toe this morning. My daughter had a chocolate cookie at a new friend’s newly built new home. The home is so new she said, “Just follow the pretty flags to my house.” My son has a life-threatening allergy to all form of milk in any amount. This new friend offered some chocolate covered cookie that are taboo within the confines of our home. My daughter ate these melty cookies with her grubby, droolie, snot-covered hands and leaped from my lap to wash her hands before I could assist. She is a toddler and tipsily toddled on over and so I had to leap from my chair and cracked my little toe on a suddenly imposing wall corner shouting, “Let me help you!” The new friend in her newly built new house laughed. “Oh, a little bit of chocolate on the wall. We could’ve figured that out without breaking your toe. I’m glad you’re here.”

Delectable Creative One! Please know that I don’t want you worrying about what others think of your work. It’s really just silly, especially if it the work is new and merely toddling about your creative house. I’m just so very glad you’re here. We’ll tidy up and worry about the rest later. Trust me.

The Pipe and Drum

January 18, 2010

Oh Creative One! The rare sun rained down on Glasgow this weekend and I took a walk. There were 3 teenagers in the shopping district in kilts playing a pipe and drums. They whooped when the music reached a certain fevered pitch. They did not seem to care if they had a single person listening to them. They did not care if the crowd was small and curious or large and feverish. They just loved to play and to play together. They had a lovely afternoon doing what they loved and I had a lovely afternoon watching them as I went about my errands.

Beloved Creative One. The teenagers above were not worried about unmade beds, fights with parents, or homework. They struck out and did what they loved. Today’s reminder is to do what you love. It is that piece that keeps whispering to you as you tuck your children in, as you unpack your groceries, as you talk with a co-worker about a disagreement. It is that idea that you’d like to try even if no one paid you for it or was on the other side to say, “Well Done! Here is your golden star!”