call it what it is…

May 20, 2010

Oh Creative One! I’m watching America’s Next Top Model. I love the brain fluff and it’s a great escape from packing. Tyra says things like, “The two models will stomp to the death.” I love the show, but really? Death? No. No one will die at the end of the competition. Only one will win and that is far better than one dying.

Accurate Creative One! I’m all for analogies. As a writer, analogies are an irreplaceable tool. But, try being exacting for a moment. Use the true shade, the true note, the true word, the true emotion for the task before you. With your work grounded, you will be surprised at its strength.

This stinks.

May 19, 2010

Oh, Creative One! We are gearing up for a 5th move in 18 months. The economy in Scotland has proved to be difficult for even the sort-of-well-off. Each house we’ve rented, the owners have found it financially impossible to rent and either sold it out from under us or claimed the property back. I’m at a loss. We just wanted a home while we were here for my husband’s 3 year contract. This moor-ish adventure stinks. The only thing that doesn’t stink is the friend that I’ve made here who doesn’t ask me to find a silver lining. I’m a grown-up. I can find silver linings every where. What I need is someone to sit with me and just let this stink.

Friendly Creative One. This posting is just for you. Often, if you invite someone to consider a piece you are working on, you get help. You get likes, dislikes, things you should’ve done, things you should do. Bah. Not from me. Imagine me there, just behind you. Imagine me being very thankful that you’ve included me in your process. I bring no opinions, only a rich vocabulary intent on describing your unique vocal tone, your deep character, your thoughtful use of aubergine. I will even just sit there and trust your creative company when your piece stinks.

Oh, Creative One, I’ve been pondering this claim by many famous sorts that they don’t have regrets. Certainly, I understand. Their lives, in all the ups and downs, has lead each of these claimers to this profitable and creative space. Why regret? But, what if you’re not where you want to be creatively? I think it’s probably easier to say you’ve got no regrets when you can pay the bills and have a rich creative life.

Regretful Creative One. You good, strong creature you! You’ve weathered so much heartache. See your regrets as a mark of belief in all that you can do. The next time an opportunity comes your way remember your heartache, remember the sound decision you made and what a let down it was. Take that opportunity and your broken heart and try a new way. Even if that opportunity is as small as wondering if you must change a word or the whisper of a color in the background, do it. Try anew.

housekeeping

May 18, 2010

Oh Creative One! My son came home with strep throat in the middle of the week last week and a post in your honor was just not possible. I’m sure you know I’m doing my best and that’s what it is all about. Still, you should know. Also, we are moving to HOUSE NUMBER 5 in 18 MONTHS May 25. I’m afraid May will be a lean month.

Patient Creative One! It will be difficult to see each other for a while, but when we do, the effort will be worth it.

Oh, Creative One. Today, I came home and looked at all I had not done with my laundry, with my children, with my spouse, with my life. I became overwhelmed. I thought, “There’s no way I can put my writing out there today because I just can’t bear to hear ‘no’ today.” I went for a walk with my kids out in the Scottish hills. On the moors, I thought, “I can’t hear ‘no’ today, but I might be able to tomorrow and I most definitely could hear ‘yes’ tomorrow.” I submitted again.

Nervous Creative One. Go on. Keep trying. If you hear something that’s unbearable just now, I will listen for you. But if you don’t even try there is no way you will ever get to hear the word ‘yes.’

Oh, Creative One! My daughter made us run late to everything this morning! Everything! Work, school, lunch, a playdate…everything. Why? Because she has as her prime directive to pluck every flower she sees. She must also keep all of the flowers she plucks. Next to me lies a pile of grimy, wilted flowers that’s been growing since 7am. When my daughter handed me a mushed bluebell, I tried to put it in a vase. She screamed. I demonstrated. She threw herself on the floor and kicked. I asked, “Well, what should I do with it?” She said, “Just hold it. You just like it, Mama.”

Beautiful Creative One! Perhaps the purpose of your current work is not to make our souls quake. Perhaps its main purpose is simply to be liked? And, if it were liked only by you and your adoration slowed everyone else down and made everyone around you a bit frustrated, would that be so bad?

with a rebel hum…

May 10, 2010

Oh Creative One! Today I had to take my two-year-old on a slew of errands in downtown Glasgow. There were big buildings and big people doing big things very fast. My daughter tripped along beside me, wiggled a bright pink pipe cleaner that she called her “snake,” and sang made up songs that made these big people in big buildings doing big things stop. They stopped and said things like, “What a sweet song!” or, “Turning out to be a nice day, aye.”

Rebellious Creative One! I was once taught that artists are rebels. The more important the work, the more rebellious the artist. But, lately, I think it is the art that shoves itself into our day in whatever small way it can that is the most rebellious. How daring to sing a small out of tune song against the grey rush of the day… Rebel, dear creative one, rebel even in the smallest of ways today.