Sunday, February 10, 2013

Finding Inspiration for Creative Expression

top from hummus container lid and various bitsIt happened in the most innocuous way.  I read somewhere - I cannot remember where and I'm not going to pretend I do by looking it up now - that "successful people" take time every day, usually in the morning, to pause and reflect on what they are thankful for.  It seemed like worthwhile advice, pausing to be with my thoughts about things I take for granted.  Since I was struggling with my vision of a sustainable future (maybe "struggle" is the wrong world - I gave up on it) it seemed like a good activity to help change a pessimistic outlook.  I'd been somewhat of a regular journal writer since the mid-90's, though what started out as a way to record significant events in my life had morphed into a repository for (mostly) rants of a recurring theme (see pattern comment above) - I had this. So inspired, I started jotting thoughts in my journal every morning...easy enough.

That lasted a day...

A few months later, I happened upon a tweet about why keeping a notebook near your bed was important - I liked it and ended up in a short interaction with @geoffliving and @ErinMFeldman (thanks to both of you!) on the benefits of hand, the old fashioned way.  [Need a reason to maintain cursive writing skills? In the not too distant future it might be sought after since it's slowly dying as a form of writing] Since then (re-inspired), I write daily - maybe not first thing in the morning and maybe it's not well-crafted, but it's happening.

Most importantly, I have spent that last three days caring for my young son.  It's been an enlightening, rewarding, and - dare I say - inspiring time.  I'm not sure what happened, what he said or did that altered my view quite so suddenly - but it happened.  Do I need to know?  Maybe that's what it was - renewing my appreciation for simple enjoyment, letting my lack of understanding sit there - alone - dispensing with the need for an explanation and just "doing".  I kept writing...

"So...what' the big deal about writing?", you may ask.

It's not about the writing.  The big deal is that I'm listening to The Maker trapped inside of me again for the first time in a few years.  I've squelched it in the name of "practicality", with defeatist pleas of  "I don't have time", or "I'd rather sit here and watch a movie", or "what I'll create won't make a damn bit of difference", or "how can I contemplate this while [insert global catastrophe] or [family health problem] is happening?"  Yes, the Internal Critic was kicking my ass.  IF, we are living in what I perceive to be a world of consuming and taking v. generating and making AND I participate in the former over the latter far too much AND bemoan that state of affairs... am I helping move from taking to making if I do not try making?


Erin said...

I think one of the reasons I like writing by hand is that it requires a different mindset. The physical act produces a corresponding internal one.

It seems that you're taking time to notice and enjoy the little things, too. That's important, both to your mind and spirit as well as to your writing.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for reading. I agree that the physical connection from the pen to the page is different than fingers to keyboard - I suppose one is analog and one is digital. Yes, I am working on remembering what is truly important and what I truly value - they're easily subsumed by everyday "life" depending upon the "life" we choose.