Saturday, December 22, 2012

Observe. Interpret. Chronicle. Might I Add Repeat?

Over the past few months, whenever I needed to go back to the well, so to speak (God, I wish I still had well-water in my life—Jesse and I have decided that lead tasted wonderful and we were only marginally diminished), I’ve caught up on my Maynard James Keenan reading.

Yeah, you read that right. Not only does that man front some of my favorite bands and make a kick ass bottle of wine (and some pasta my husband is desperately trying to convince me to eat, STAT), but he also writes a column. Insert contented sigh of admiration and hero-worship here.

After we tried what J termed my ‘rock star wine’ (Caduceus: Anubis) and found it delicious, my husband looked squarely in my eyes and said, “Some people have too much talent stuffed into one body.” Don’t I wish I had that problem. Don’t we all?

Yeah, the other thing you’re reading right is that I have another hero-worship thing going on besides The Bloggess. Don’t judge. I excel at hero-worship. There’s more than enough to go around.

One of the little tidbits of reflection I read today brought the point I need brought home. I’d seen him allude to this line of thinking once during a concert, but the written word is more resonant for me. In the post he speaks of the time when the mundane and the creative were more closely aligned. He speaks of how important the creative was to each and every one of our ancestors. It allowed them to live. It allowed them to think of ways to survive the threats of their world. It allowed them to transmit their cultural knowledge to younger generations. They did this by using the three steps listed in the title of this post. They did not limit creativity, block off time for it, or create compartmentalized encampments in their mind between the ‘real things’ to be done and the creative things to be done.

I tend to be guilty of all of the above.

As of late, the creative has been lacking a bit in my life. Know what? My life has sucked a bit for the lack of it. Granted, yes, there’s been school shootings and elementary school lockdowns (Ant was in one this week; his report of the event is heartbreaking, and I cannot write about it yet) and broken furnaces and holiday retail hours and all the other crap that can drag a girl down… but I think the fact that creative time for Momma has dropped off the family calendar altogether has taken the largest toll. Hard to brainstorm around a broken furnace when your mind lives in this constant state of to-do list.

We’ve already established that Momma ain’t spending enough time on herself, now haven’t we? Although I’m happy to report that I broke the ugly UGG cycle and have lost the clip (the ponytail band is a bit harder to relinquish, but I did yesterday; today is second-day hair, and all bets are off) and even put on lipstick, just as Liz Taylor intended…

You can't see the lipstick here. Mainly because I've had
three cups of coffee at this point. And yes, that's a
legitimate SWEATER...
So there’s some movement there. I need to make sure there’s movement on the creative front as well.

I am a very fortunate woman. I have a supportive husband and older children capable of entertaining themselves and an amazing boss who demands we take the time off we need. I also have 16 days of vacation, starting today. There will be holiday machinations during this time off, to be sure, but there will also be days and days of unfilled time in which I can be creative to my heart’s content. I’m really looking forward to it.

At this time, I’m placing no limits on myself. I tend to do this. I tend to tell myself things like, “Well, you should at least catch up on laundry while you’re off” or “Why don’t you write several posts and schedule them?” or “Why are you even thinking of a new project? You have so many other things you’ve never finished!” No limits allowed this time around. I’ll do what strikes me when it strikes me, and if it appears in blog posts or short stories or finishing a project or just plain crafting, that’s fine. That’s what I am doing. It’s important work, after all—allowing the creative juices to flow, allowing the problem-solving channels to become unblocked, allowing serendipity to walk in and do its thing.

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