Wednesday, February 24, 2010

A Creativity Consumer

Today, I told someone I consider myself a 'user' -- that I take everything in, then distill it to aid my writing.  Period.  Bottom line.  Other forms of expression come and go -- when they cease to feed my pen, they're ejected.  But the next thing I 'need' always presents itself.
Mainstays:  music and photography.  But I'm forever searching out the 'new' in those genres:  new-to-me, that is.  Brain food -- and not, necessarily, 'intellectual' -- but certainly stimulating on some level, preferably multiple levels.  I'm a hussy for literal and figurative forks-in-the-road, spontaneous pull-overs, tangents and detours -- no itinerary.  I love surprises:  my own, and others'.  I can keep a secret.  I enforce change even in the routine -- rearrange my drive to work, rearrange my furniture, change my hair color, my linens, my inspiration board or items.  When I've outgrown an attachment to something, when it no longer pulls growth from me, the sentiment and my attachment to it die.  I give it away - no looking back.  I purge every 3 months - clothes, books, art supplies, dishes, DVDs.  CDs are the hardest to part with, but that's because I've learned that in a month, a year, two years, they become new to me again, because I'm different, my listening and responses are different.
I used to watch the same movies over and again, re-read the same books.  But no longer -- I want the novelty of fresh stories, characters, ideas.  My journal?  Every time I begin a new book, the book itself is different, and my approach has mutated.  I write with an altered focus.  I do or don't add visuals, less or more, often none.  I incorporate lyrics or quotes in this book, then abstain completely in the next.  I listen to music as I write in one book, crave silence during the next.  The only consistency is the words -- my need for them, the page and the pen.  Lately, I'm entirely suspicious of the familiar, when for years I was afraid of down time, when I didn't write -- no, when I didn't want to write, as if I'd lost it forever.
Now, I accept.  That's really been a refrain for me the last six months:  accept.  Accept.  Accept.  Change or stasis, energy or exhaustion, serenity or frustration.  Everything, every bit of it, leads to discovery.  An ongoing issue in my life has been trust -- my exceeding caution there, my withdrawing even from people or situations that deserved it.  Acceptance is the inroad to trust, and I'm gaining on it.  I've written a journal for 34 and a half years, and what I've seen is that only the habit of writing is fixed -- my perspective, always shifting, expanding, keeps me fascinated.  If that's not trust, what is?
Narcissism?  That's "me me me" without growth or introspection.  My journal has always been the place where I expect the most from myself, hardcore truth-telling, the ugly alongside the progress, the beautiful accompanying the setbacks.  Spelled out, and then some!  Reviewed.  Considered.  Patterns of behaviors?  Oh yea!  Obstinacy, denial, justification?  Uh huh, in abundance.  But soon followed by admittance, confession, and the outline of lessons learned, absorbed.  Lessons absorbed then slowly -- s l  o  w  l   y --  effected.
My journal has an insatiable appetite, so I feed and feed and feed it, with blogs, interviews, documentaries, articles, interactions, biographies, magazines, events, contacts, exchanges.  It's not that I'm fearless.  Not at all.  It's that I'm usually scared to the near-core, but the core core says, "Go!  Go -- anyway!  Go -- in spite of!  Go!  Because there's something there."  Something not just for me, but for others -- eventually, somehow, some way.  Husband, sons, family, friends, associates, acquaintances, strangers -- all!  Because if I make my self, my mind, my world larger, I may effect enlargement elsewhere.  I believe I'm needed, that way.  I believe we're all needed, that way.
So I'm a creativity consumer -- but I recycle.  Unusual concept of a food chain, maybe.  But you know, it's like this:  a chance meeting at a writing workshop and my world has since opened exponentially.  That meeting has facilitated an artist interview, a perfectly timed meditation CD, a book that has validated events in my life back to the age of 6, and a steadily growing friendship.  How can I ever know the tides I'll turn by chance [by chance? or by need, by placement?] in someone else's life?
I want to be sure I always show up, and my journal is my impetus to that.  Take this post, for instance -- a thought-flow lifted straight from its pages, no editing, no cleaning up or coordinating, so you can see how it happens -- at least for me.
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Photos mine, from the car show and an airport where My Lovely Mother, my bros, and My Love, Ciera, watched gliders take off and land, February 13, 2010


  1. I'm refreshed for reading this. You show me how to see things clearly again. Over and over. Thanks. I really need it.

  2. Your words always ring true to me...thank you, again!


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