Happy Monday, friends!
- I am grateful for the opportunity to connect (in a new way) with members of the artistic community in St. Petersburg, and to act in a radio play for the fist time
- I am grateful for a coffee date with a dear college buddy
- I am grateful for the exciting week ahead, filled with museum and theatre excursions (getting to be in the audience for a change!), visits with friends, and launching back into Our Town on Wednesday
I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the magic we used to make, as kids.
What was your preferred method of creation, back in the day? Did you…
- Put on magic shows
- Open your own “restaurant” in the family kitchen
- Perform plays in the basement or garage
- Start a business selling home-made jewelry, songs, and painted rocks
- Write and assemble books, poems, magazines, and newspapers
- Open an art gallery of your best paintings, in your bedroom
- Advertise your back massage, pet-sitting, and baking skills around your neighborhood
Possibly you did many of these things.
I think back with such fondness on the grand ideas, schemes, and concoctions my young mind dreamed up, and made a reality. The reckless abandon and relentless commitment to each detail. The way that “limitations,” or the idea of them, weren’t a part of my vocabulary. There was no “I wish I could open a pet store” – I just did it, the scale was immaterial. (And frankly, stuffed animal pet stores are much easier to maintain.)
It interests me, what happens between that time of total creative freedom that we enjoy as children, and the way we sometimes approach creation as adults. At what point did “I want to….so I’ll…” become a litany of conditions, excuses, and self-doubt? I’m generalizing – I know there are many times when we adults also enjoy and engage in fantastic artistic discovery and play. But how often in our “grown up” lives do we allow obstacles like time, our perceived skill/lack thereof, money, and resources get in the way of us waking up and making things?
Sometimes I become aware of how much more wishing I do as an adult, than truly creating/making things happen. Do you find this? Elizabeth Gilbert’s Big Magic deals a lot with overcoming our fears and experiencing creative freedom, and I recommend it highly.
There are days when I wish for just 2% of the “dumb, blind confidence” and audacity I had as a child, you know? If an idea came to me for a book that “needed to be written” I’d sit down every night for weeks and tear through my spiral-bound notebook with the fervor of a commissioned, published author on a deadline. It never crossed my mind that no one might ever read it but me, I just needed to write. Perhaps as adults we’ve been conditioned to consider the end-game more. We’ve lived through failure and rejection time and again, and maybe after awhile it feels painful to make something, and risk whatever we fear most – the possibility of more failure and rejection, or that our creation will be ignored altogether, and we’ll be considered irrelevant.
Tonight I was seriously inspired by a group of artists in my community who are out there making magic, boldly. This collection of creators started a monthly radio theatre broadcast that presents original and classic radio plays, live. I’ve never experienced anything quite like it – sound designers, actors, technicians, stage managers and more come together once a month to work on the kinds of material they most enjoy (and in a unique way), serving an audience who – it turns out, is hungry for this kind of entertainment – the place was packed! I’m sure at the onset there were plenty of challenges, obstacles, and doubts. These are all BUSY people with a lot on their plates. But they made time. They found a way. And it’s been going on now for seven years. Incredible.
Consider with me all the brave people you admire who…started a theatre, founded a charity, wrote a book, or did anything that made a difference. They started. At some point, they just…started.
I think this extends to all kinds of endeavors and desires. Anything you wish could be a part of your life…
- “I wish my community had a book club”
- “I wish there were opportunities for young poets like me to showcase their work”
- “I wish I could act in films”
- “I wish I could write a musical with someone I really respect”
What’s keeping us from starting our own book club, finding a venue that will let us host a poetry slam, grabbing some friends and a camera, or putting an ad out there for a collaborator?
We’ve all got magic within us. And sometimes we just have to start. Pick up the phone, grab a pen, write that email, and GO!
In the spirit of magic-making, I’ve been challenging myself to write something, every day. A poem, a rambling, a story, a collection of ideas or musings…and it doesn’t have to be good. Or make sense to anyone but me. Or be “for” anything in particular. Or have a certain form or style. This is what I wrote today, for no reason at all but to write. Wishing you a rich, bold, audacious week of magic-making, Celebrationists.
Things that are cozy
Thick, dark coffee in Tiffany blue colored cups
French bulldog puppies curled up behind your knees
especially in colors like mustard yellow
Hot sourdough bread – crusty on the outside,
spongy on the inside
Soft things against your feet
Like fleecy slippers. Christmas socks. Lips
Wearing a flannel while watching the rain
When your hand fits just right
inside someone else’s jacket pocket
Crawling under the covers with wet hair
Eating home-made soup with your feet tucked up under you
The perfectly shaped spoon
Plopping down in your subway seat of choice when your feet are frozen
An overdue catch up
Writing a poem in a room full of people and feeling solitary
but not at all alone.