Happiness is Creative
I was in the ceramics studio early this week. I went there on a couple of mornings just to get things done. Ever since I decided to stop making my wood panel paintings, I have had more time for writing and for pottery and ceramic sculpture. It has been intensely liberating, to say the least.
The other day, as I was pulling a ware board full of Sake sets off of one of the studio shelves, I felt vibrationally happy. Not the kind of happy that results from an event or a circumstance, but one which resides deep within, and once found, can become a source of power and energy.
I was so happy in fact, that I wasn't paying very close attention to what I was doing, and as I pulled out the board full of small pottery, I watched as it flipped, as if in slow motion, and all of the finished work fell on the floor and broke or fell into wet clay and became somewhat mushed.
I looked down at the mess and said to myself and a friend who was standing very near me who had witnessed it all, "yeah, that tracks."
"I heard all the advice I have given to my students over the years"
Moments after I heard what I said to myself, I then heard all of the advice I have given to my students over the years when it comes to pottery gone "wrong":
Don't be so attached to your expectations that it keeps you from seeing the opportunities as they present themselves to you.
It was time to put my money squarely where my mouth resides.
This is what happens in pottery and art, generally. You start with an idea of what you want to express, how you want to make it, and what it might look like in the end. Along the way stuff happens. Sometimes, it's stuff like this. Things fall, other things break. Colors fade or flash. It is inevitable because when you are learning to throw, or really, learning how to make anything, a lot of what you are doing is learning how to solve all the problems that come up that you were 100% not planning for.
This is why art making is such a great practice, even if you are not planning on becoming a "professional." You learn how to detach yourself from some emotional victory you saw yourself achieving when you finally made the perfect bowl, mug, or plate. You have to release yourself from the if-then relationship of, "if this object is perfect, then I will be happy."
Over time, as you work with clay, or with paint, or wood, or metal, or whatever, you realize it is not the object's perfection that creates a suitable environment for happiness, it is the drive and perspective within you. Once you can plainly see that your ability to accept your own imperfections as a more fertile field for cultivating true happiness, you become free to abandon perfection completely in favor of something that is far more human.
This is why when I dumped the ware board onto the floor, after several moments of awe-filled confusion, I realized that I had been handed opportunities. I worked at those flawed, broken pieces until they sang, or I was forced to admit defeat. In either circumstance, I felt inspired by what I saw the pieces asking for in their different states of brokenness.
In the end, I was able to see that the play in this work, the releasing of my expectations of elegant and beautiful Sake sets was the goal, and the reaction to and conversation with the broken pieces was the method.
From that moment on, I decide I would include play and acceptance as a standard in my art classes. I decided that I would play more and plan less. I decided that the happiness I felt would be my new guidance system.
The next few classes that I taught flowed very differently, and the students seemed more apt to take chances with their work. It was incredibly gratifying to see, and I think, though it is still very early, that this will be a whole new type of foundation on which to build my work going forward.
Creativity is Easy
There is a lot of talk about how hard it is to tap into a person's own creativity. This is a falsehood. It is easy. Rather, it would be easy if our culture was not one in which people are taught to suppress their emotions. It is common knowledge that men are seen as weak if they cry, and women are viewed as bitches if they show their anger. In most cases, women are not viewed as flawed if they show the emotion of sadness, and when men appear to be angry, (unless they are men of color), within reason, this is seen as acceptable.
Otherwise the spectrum of emotions are closed off to most of us after we hit puberty.
Creative expression would be more commonplace in a culture or society which embraced emotional expression. This is The Truth of Creativity. It is merely an expression of a viewpoint, combined with knowledge, catalyzed by emotion.
This is why Creativity in the workplace is at an all-time low. Most of us hate our jobs, or at the very least, are filled with dread or fear about our work. We spend our days stuffing our uncomfortable emotions around all the things we feel we "have" to do, either with food, drink, screen time, or other substances, and then wonder why we can't come up with any new ways of expressing an idea or solving a problem. Most of us are stuck and scared to move, because we know that movement will most likely mean that we will have to contend with feelings that are uncomfortable.
Do You Want to be More Creative?
Get in touch with your feelings. I am not saying you need to talk about them. In fact, whenever I teach a class full of teenagers how to sculpt, draw or paint, I ask them, "would you rather talk about your feelings or make art about them?"
I am sure you can guess what the unanimous answer always is. The key factor in successfully bringing about creativity is practice. That means every day, even if it is only for 10 minutes, make an effort to practice expressing something, anything. Hell...even once every other day, even once a week...The point is, the more you practice, the more you put yourself in a position to emit some type of point of view, the more able you will be to do it as time goes on.
The reason so many people don't feel like they are creative is that they have been told they are not, and they believed it. Then, every time something happened around creative expression, whether or not it was successful, they used it to confirm that bias within them.
BUT, be warned, once you start this practice, it will change you. It will change your life. You will become a different person. There is no way this won't happen. It's physics. You will become more comfortable with your feelings. You will have a more secure sense of self. You will trust yourself more over time. This is what comes from tapping into your inner creator. More confidence. More awareness. In short, more life.
Not everyone can handle being creative. While it is easy, it is not simple. It is in fact quite complex and will touch every part of your life. But, once you develop this strength, you will have one more way to facilitate moving through your life.
If you want to know more, just let me know. I can help you...give you that little nudge you need to get you going down that path or be a mentor for you as you get started.
I was dropping off some work today at The Lucky Dumpster in Edison, WA, and talking with the proprietor about the nature of work and life. Heavy stuff, I know.
We were both talking about the way we move through the world. He has a curiosity about things that serves him well in most situations. In a very few situations, it paralyzes him. Which I can completely understand.
I was talking about how I do the same thing, in a way, but with a little twist. Whenever I have a gut reaction to something...food, art, writing, or a flower, for instance, something that I love, like, or hate, I ask myself why. I have found that when I know why something moves me, it is easier for me to make decisions regarding the people, places, and object with which I fill my life.
I learned this going through critique training in art school. Students are taught to look at work and recognize why something is or isn't working formally, and also, why they might be having a gut reaction to the work. The reason it is important to know this, at least in an art context, is so that the artist knows how to approach their own work.
As I transferred this learning to my own life, I was able to make decisions regarding big and little things much more quickly and easily, and distance myself from any emotional reaction or stimulus that might be steering me the wrong way. It was a great way to speed up my decision making and encouraged me to own every decision I make, right or wrong, and give me a framework with which to handle the results of each decision.
In this, I have managed to make the decisions that have lead me to this sort of dream life I am living. I am very happy writing, making, teaching art and living in a simple way in a beautiful place. The ability to step back and recognize that I am truly happy with the decisions I have made is gratifying, especially because for so long I wondered why I kept making the same stupid decisions over and over, and why I seemed to be choosing suffering for so long.
If people took the time to study what they love, what they do not love, and think about why, strictly based on their own feelings around those things, then base a decision making framework upon that alone, there would be more joy in the world. As it is, we are trained to be manageable, profitable, and in need of fixing, repair or some other type of costly service that is truly unnecessary. Many of us look up in middle age and wonder, "my god, what have I done?!?!" (Shout out to David Byrne and the Talking Heads on that one.)
There is space for creative opportunities everywhere in our lives if we are brave enough to acknowledge and take advantage of them. It takes a lot to move away from the norm, but the rewards that await are just unbelievable.
#Creativity #Creativelifestyle #artislife #lifeisart
One of the things that I truly, madly, deeply love about teaching is that I get to tell all of my students that there is more than one way to work with clay. I let my students know that I am teaching an easy way to feel successful on the potter's wheel, but over time, they will each develop their own relationship with clay.
Every time I teach this approach, I am reminded to do this in my own life in everything that I do. It is the most freeing thing I have done for myself, to give myself permission to find my own way to do things when whatever I have been told to do is not working out.
Throughout my life, I have curated activities and paths that would enable me to have many options to choose from and many back doors through which to escape if needed. I began very early living an unconventional life, though at the time, I didn't see it that way. I just knew that I wasn't interested in doing things that I saw as illogical or boring.
When I tell my students to focus on developing their own relationship with clay, I know what they are doing is what they would do anyway; create a relationship that mirrors all the other relationships in their lives. For instance, if a potter has a problem with boundaries with their loved ones, this will come out in how they approach the clay. If another person cannot seem to master the rhythm of the wheel, it is because they are out of rhythm, in some way, in their life. If a student is disappointed in whatever they make because their expectations were out of line with what is actually possible....
You might wonder why I know this. How I could possibly know for sure that this is the case? Well, it is because of the hundreds of conversations I have had with students when we talk about what is going on with them and their clay and they respond with, "yes this is how it is with my ___________." As above, so below.
This is why I encourage people to undertake an art practice, any art practice, because if they are able to pay attention to how they handle their materials, and how they react to the pieces they create, they will see that this is also how they treat the rest of their lives, and maybe even see a reason and a way to grow and change things if they so desire.
It is the most powerful transformational tool I have ever used, and no matter what I am working on, be it sculpture, pottery, paintings, stickers, or social engagement projects, I pay close attention to how I interact with the content, materials, and outcome of the work I do. It serves as a powerful mirror for the things I might be fooling myself out of seeing. It also comforts me. I spend hours and hours alone with my work in one way or another, and in this way, I am connecting with myself on a deep level and bringing out parts of me that sometimes surprise the hell out of me. It's awesome.
I have recently started a new series of work and ended another. It is an exciting and scary time. I am watching myself slowly move forward with this new work, as what I am doing is somewhat intimidating. This is how it always is at first. I give myself plenty of time to think about my work, what it means, what I might be missing, and what could maybe be thrown out of the creative equation. The idea for my new series came to me in an energetic vision. The development of that idea is up to me, and the strategy of making is also mine. I don't know where I get my ideas, except to say they come from the universe. They feel very much like they are planted in me, and I know when I get one, that I am supposed to put it out into the world. If I don't, I get depressed, conversely, the more I listen and follow this guidance, the more I get them.
Over the course of my creative life, I have noticed a few things about creativity that has helped me with my efforts.
I have created a religion of sorts around creativity that puts me in the best place to make things on a pretty regular basis.
This is part of my sense of self, how I see the world, and it flavors my perspective of others. I know for a fact that everyone is creative because I know that I am not special, I have just focused on being creative. I know I was born with it, just as every other person has been and will be, until we cease to exist. I also know that most people don't think they are creative because they have been abused into believing that they are safer being typical. That's why I am a cheerleader. The world is full of people who will put you down. Full of governments, organizations, and companies that will force you into tiny boxes that cramp your muscles and limit your ability to breathe. I will not be one more person who keeps people from realizing their unique and fantastic potential.
I am the person who will cheer you on to ignore the bastards who would have you cower, and find and celebrate the creative person that you are. I am the person who will hold up the magical mirror and help you see your beauty. I get to tell all my students that their way is the best way for them and it is their responsibility to find it. That's my job.
Aren't I lucky?
Creativity and Emotion
The Mystery of Creative Drive
I hear different versions of the same question all the time: "How do I harness my creativity?"
Sometimes it's, "what do I do if I'm not creative?" which is an even more troubling question, because everyone is born creative.
The answer is more simple than you might expect. Creativity is your body's ability to express in a variety of unique ways. For example, when you want to simply and easily express an idea to a friend, you speak by stringing words together to convey your idea, combining different verbs, adjectives, nouns, and so forth. Expressing yourself creatively would mean putting your own personal twist on that string of words. Creativity is possible in all forms of expression. The "creative" element of any expression, be it completing a work assignment, cooking dinner, or painting a picture, is your particular perspective or spin on that expression.
We all have this in us, but we go through an education that teaches uniformity and conformity instead of originality and uniqueness. So, as we are trained to be more like each other, as we are punished for our emotional expressions, and rewarded for our ability to integrate and conform, we slowly lose touch with our creativity. It does not mean that it is gone, it just means that like any skill, the less we use it, the harder it is to access. All it takes to get it back is a certain level of comfort with being different, and practice.
Drawing, painting, music playing, sculpting, these are all skills that one can use creatively to express ideas, curiosities and feelings, but make no mistake, a person can be an excellent painter and still not be very creative. Creativity comes as a result of an expression of insight and emotion, it is not the mode of the expression, but the way in which something is expressed.
If you don't listen to your body's creative impulses, over time, they diminish, but your creativity does not leave you entirely, it lies dormant waiting for inspiration, or, rather a willing participant. Creativity expands the more it is used, and withers with abandonment.
We live in a world where the expression of feelings is seen as weakness, conformity is rewarded, and being different is seen as a threat. It is no wonder that so many people think they are not creative. It is also no wonder that people are not in touch with their feelings, as we are taught to either stifle them, ignore them, or manage them in a way that is private or shameful.
It takes courage to be creative because the people who originally set up the educational system in the US were training people to work on assembly lines. The US education turns out people who are docile and easy to manipulate. In short, our educational system in the US teaches repetition, mimicry, and standardization.
This used to upset me, but now, it is just one more thing about the way the world works that I ignore, as I go about living my life, being creative wherever and whenever I can.
The Bottom Line.
If you want to harness your creativity, get in touch with your feelings. Get comfortable with how you feel about the world around you. Practice a healthy expression of them. Creative strength is the ability to express your passions, beliefs, and perspectives in unique and original ways, and the only way you are going to get good at that is practice. Even if you are practicing alone in your journal and never show a soul.
Creativity is good for you. When you listen to how you are feeling about things, when you act on and express those feelings, you are practicing the highest form of self-care. When you ignore your feelings and act in ways that are not in your own best interest, you are sending signals to yourself to shut down. As you shut down, your body craves silence in the form of addictions.
In short, the more you are able to truthfully express your feelings, the less you will reach for substances and activities that your body aches for to fill that gap you have created by ignoring your feelings.
If you find this hard to believe, I understand, but I would ask you to just try. Try to listen to the messages your body is sending you. They are subtle, but they are vitally important, and they are the key to unleashing your own particular form of creative expression.
Steps to Tap into Your Creativity
It doesn't matter if you decide to needlepoint, paint, cook, make pottery, or sing as a mode of expression, what matters is that you find joy in the method and then express the way you think and feel about anything you want. This, in a nut shell, is creative expression. Practicing this will add to your life in ways you never thought possible. The more you tap into your creativity, the more creative you will become.
Letting Go of Old Stories
I started teaching again this week at the ceramics studio, and while I knew that I missed teaching, I didn't fully comprehend just how much I missed it and how much I actually get out of teaching art to kids and adults.
My kids class is full this term, and as I always do, I started class by telling the kids that there is only one rule, and that is kindness. After I laid that on them, I went around the room and I asked them to give us definitions of different types of kindness.
It is wonderful listening to kids talk about their idea of kindness, and inspiring to watch them agree to cheer each other on as they make whatever art they decide to make. Everybody leaves class on a high because they understand how good it feels to be nice to each other, as well as how different it feels to make art in a space that they know is safe. This is the same message I give to all my classes, but for the teens and adults, it is less of a straight-forward conversation and more of a role modeling situation.
There is an older woman in my sculpture class who has taken a few art classes here and there in her life, but has never really thrown herself into art making, though she has wanted to. She told me that when she was a kid, she had an art teacher who told her that she was not good enough at drawing or sculpting to do either, and that she should probably focus her attention on other things instead. So she did, though the act of art making brought her a lot of joy.
This is an unfortunate institutional message given to most kids at an early age, because on a very basic level, all public school classes, even most art classes, are created to teach and reward conformity and mimicry, and stifle originality and creative thought. As a kid, there is no way to know this, so when your teacher tells you that you are no good, you only know that it hurts, and internalize the crushing message that you should probably not believe in yourself. It doesn't matter who you are, if you hear this enough times, you believe it, and then, even in the face of situations where you prove to be successful and powerful, there is still that voice inside you that has been planted by the establishment that tells you not to believe it. In essence, in the face of your own magic and power, your training has taught you to believe that it is a lie, or a fluke, or luck.
It's tough to feel good in a society that only celebrates what it can control, and only rewards what pushes the agenda of conformity forward. If you happen to be in any way different, it can also be dangerous. It's one of the reasons that I believe art classes for all ages is so important. We are taught at a young age to push whatever makes us different down deep so it cannot be seen. By the time most of us reach 30 we don't know who we are because we have been working so hard trying to be what we have been told is acceptable. Art and creativity is one very obvious way to acknowledge and cultivate the differences and universal similarities we all carry within us.
Human beings are all creative, and all in very different ways. Unfortunately, most of us believe that we are not, and many of us believe it so deeply that we go out of our way to squash whatever creative impulses we see in others because it doesn't align with the messaging we have internalized and suffered under our entire lives.
So, if you are reading this, and there is something inside you screaming that you are not creative, understand that this is the result of programming in a society that profits from your ability to conform and not be curious or ask questions. In short, this voice is bullshit, and the sooner you learn to ignore it and finally create a new voice within you that is kind, supportive and loving, the sooner your entire life will change.
We have been shown in the last few years just how much of what we have been taught has been created to control and divide us, and the messaging about creativity is no exception.
So if you have even a tiny inkling about picking up a paint brush, a saxophone, a sculpting tool, or a knitting needle. do it. Throw yourself into it. Put your heart into what you create, no matter what that is. You will discover a limitless well of a life inside you that changes and evolves over the course of your life that is all yours to tap into, anytime you want.
Don't believe the lies that you are not in some way creative. They were told to you by people who were never allowed to believe in themselves, and instead of seeing you flourish and grow, they would rather you suffer with them.
Don't let the bastards get you down.
Seeing as the last time I posted it was last summer, I think you can guess at what I have and have not been up to in the interim. If you can't, read on.
Life has changed. I house sit most of the year, live in an entirely new home in the same town, and teach five classes at a local ceramics studio. I have been creating stickers and designing other things trying to sell them on Etsy to supplement my income. I have also been selling my work locally. At this point, my work consists of both pottery and wood paintings. I sell them at local shops for the most part.
I am still getting used to managing my energy levels. I sometimes overdo it (busying myself with making, writing, and socializing), then end up quite ill. As always, the biggest challenge for me is managing my emotions around this situation, as it sometimes feels like a never-ending acid trip, only not as fun.
This last go-around, I was sick on and off for weeks, due to all the illness going around my town and the stress levels I maintained while getting ready for holiday sales. I was pretty low for quite a while, then I remembered my friends. I started reaching out to them, letting them know how important they are to me, and before I knew it, I was feeling much better. It was actually almost an overnight change.
I like being reminded of the importance of my connections when I realize my actual sickness might be due in part to acting like a hermit. Being a maker and a writer requires one to be alone quite a bit, staring at her own navel. This is only good for a person for so long. For much of my young life, being alone was a scary prospect, I worked on that to the point where I now have the tendency to get caught up in my own machinations and forget about much of the external forces that are equally important parts of my overall health.
Likewise, I get so much out of teaching. Watching people find and outwardly express dormant potential they had no idea was there really nourishes me on a soul level. Every time it happens it feels like the first time because of the way people react to their own potency. Because I get so much out of this endeavor, not teaching for six weeks has been kind of harsh. I am so pumped to be teaching the kids tomorrow that I am almost worried I won't sleep too well tonight due to excitement.
I have also decided to get a counseling certificate in the state of Washington so I can work online more and more as I get older and not have to worry about retiring. From a very young age I knew I would never really retire, that instead I would spend my life doing things I love to do, and for the most part, I have done that. Don't get me wrong, I have learned some hard lessons working for The Man, but I don't even regret that. My life has been as varied and interesting as I hoped it would be, and for that, I have nothing but joy and gratitude.
It is nice to have priorities going into the game, knowing that they might change and welcoming them when they do. For the balance of my life, I have decided to spend at least half of my time helping people realize their potential. There is so much joy in this work, and we just happen to live in a world that crushes the souls of most of its inhabitants. So, sadly, there is lots of demand for this kind of work as well.
Part of this is to write a new weekly blog here about some of the things that happened in my classes so that I might inspire my readers, however few of them there might be, to discover their own special brand of magic.
Below find just a few of the stickers I have designed to remind people about....priorities.
What is it to live a life? For me, it is doing several projects at once, building an art business, and trying to stay afloat financially by landscaping, teaching art, house sitting, and doing small repairs and home projects around town.
My latest endeavor is to build a small collection of work to sell on Etsy (1000 + pieces) so that I might register on the algorhythms and maybe bring in a few hundred extra per month to help with the rising costs of, well, everything. I don't know if this is forgetting who I am again. I don't like shipping things. But, making tons of stuff is right up my alley, so, I'm giving it a go once more to see if I can achieve the elusive "several streams of income" I have been hoping to build for the last several years.
I'm also working on letting go a bit, maybe being more playful and silly with my work. The events of the past 2+ years have been somewhat harrowing, this last bit with the walking backward of justice has been disturbing to say the least, and I am trying to keep my energy so that I can create things that might inspire some type of change, or, at the very least, a laugh. I have never believed that the goal of life was money accrual. I have always seen it as an experience to be had. This is why I am in what most people in the Western World would call a "tight spot" financially, over fifty, in debt, no retirement. It doesn't bother me too much. As long as I keep working, that is.
I live in a small town. It is growing rapidly, and feels like it might become a shithole much like Seattle and Portland became when people over populated it. The cost of a house or apartment is about ten fold out of my reach here, but while this gives me pause on occasion, it doesn't often bother me.
Living in a tiny home next to an art studio is still pretty fantastic. It is only truly challenging in the cold winter days in December and January. Peeing and cooking in the freezing cold has never really been that appealing to me, but if I am not lucky enough to get a house sitting gig during that time, that is what I end up doing. Hopeful this fall and winter will be full of opportunity for sitting in houses.
I am not sure what the purpose of this blog is, it might not even be to have anyone read it, and for right now, I think that is suitable because I am almost positive no one does, it has been inactive for so long.
For now I guess this is for me.
I have been teaching art to kids and adults for a long time. It is only in the last ten years or so, however, that I have really done it well. So, seeing as I started teaching in 1997, that says a lot about how much I didn't know and how long I didn't know it until I did it.
I am now, I can honestly say, getting so much more out of teaching than I ever had because I got out of the way of my students. Instead of giving students assignments, rules and parameters, I now provide a space in which they can work with materials free of judgement, harsh criticism, or regard for expectation.
I see my job as a teacher to create a creative space where people feel like they can be themselves fully, explore unknown themes and strategies without fear of reproach, and feel the support and encouragement of their teacher and their fellow students. In short, it is not my mission to teach art and help people be good artists, but to assist people, at any age, to get to a point where they are curious about what makes them tick, and find a path to discovering themselves within the context of a creative environment.
Basically, I just get out of the way.
In this way, I am more inspired in every class I teach than I have ever been before because I have the privilege of watching people become. I have the honor of watching people take risks. I have the opportunity to cheer people on as they fail and succeed in challenging situations.
There is nothing like telling people, wordlessly or otherwise, that you believe in them, and then stepping back and watching what happens.
Don't Do What I Did
I vividly remember lying in my bed at about seven or eight years old, in my favoritest (I had many favorites) Wonder Woman jammie jams, staring up at the chunky wooden support slats of the top bunk from my well-worn and much safer bottom bunk, as I clutched my blue and black striped friend, Eeyore. The visceral memory of chilling realization washing over my tiny body that my life was going to be spectacularly challenging had kept me up long into the night. I had made the profound mistake several years earlier of painting my room a deep, dark purple, so the only glimmer of light in my room came from the two windows next to the bed and the brightly painted yellow stairwell that led directly into our dining room where my parents and their friends were sitting, drinking wine, and laughing with an obscene lack of consideration- with the door wide open. With each laugh, the reality was driven more deeply into my gut that my life would be a tormented one, at best.
My room, as it was, was actually a large passing-through space not contained by any but the outside walls, on the way to my brother’s bedroom. The upstairs bathroom was also joyously situated just off this room and at the head of the stairs, so that every time my brother did anything in there, I heard it. Sometimes, when the breeze blew through, I even smelled it. Without going into too much detail, I will merely say that the proximity my room had to the bathroom was quite….unfortunate.
Both of my parents had obnoxiously loud and untempered laughs, and by the sound of it, they did not seem a bit concerned that they might be keeping their small children awake on this late night with their antics. Of course, I could hear my brother snoring from behind his bedroom door just as plainly as I could hear my parents’ laughter, but I knew, as surely as I knew that the deep dark purple had been a mistake, that my young life would most likely be riddled with one embarrassing event after another, unless I took matters into my own hands. I would feel and act on this same sense of responsibility many more times in my life as I dealt with harassment in the workplace, inconsiderate boyfriends, and social injustice, and keep coming up with creative plans, sometimes in a moment’s notice, sometimes after months of plotting and planning, to change the course of events for myself and those around me. Not always successfully, but as you might expect, as I grew older, my priorities and goals changed.
This is the dark but glorious moment I remember most clearly as the gleaming point of inspiration where I was motivated to change my fate by creatively conspiring to throw my parents from their usual obnoxious and embarrassing behavior by distracting them with my own. I will never forget the electrifying surge of hope I felt in my tiny body when I came up with my plan to derail their social behavior. This feeling, this revelation, was such a welcome reprieve from the usual heavily anxious sour stomach I had developed as a toddler, that it became something I would reach for over and over throughout the many years of my creatively maladjusted life. Prior to this moment, my greatest fear had been that as time went on, their behavior would get worse if I didn’t do something to divert their attention in some way, so this idea was truly something that I thought might save me from years of parental aggravation. In that moment, I had no idea that even the most carefully laid plans, made with the best of intentions and the most cautious of plotting, can go wildly and quite disturbingly wrong.
You might wonder why a young girl, lying within the darkened walls of one of her first great creative failures, (it would live on forever in my mind as the great purple failure), would ever dream of coming up with a way to change her parent’s behavior so that it might suit her own better, and I can only tell you, these forty-plus years later, that it was a hearty combination of innocent youth, reckless desperation, and unbridled energy that propelled me forward into a space where I believed I could actually change the behavior of my parents to suit my needs. I had been having a deep, gnawing feeling for several months by that time that things were just going to keep getting worse, so I felt it was my responsibility, neigh, my duty, to do something to avert certain disaster. When I felt the sudden and unexpected relief from the pain of my anxiety combined with the pure and joyous beauty of creative inspiration run through my body, I knew it was the answer I needed to elevate my existence and put me on the path towards what I assumed was my potential greatness.
Is an artist, a philosopher, a writer and a teacher. She will be writing random thoughts here. Follow along if you are interested.
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