Sorry this blog entry is late. My older daughter broke her arm over the weekend, which caused all sorts of scurrying for health care, doctors, referrals, X-rays... which sapped my creative juices as well as my writing time. I spent a few late nights tweaking my latest chapters, but finally, late last night, my school work was submitted.
This evening, I headed back to my home office as usual. I did the routine checking of the email, checking the bank balance, and checking the Brotherhood 2.0. Then I sat in front of the monitor, staring. Was there something I was supposed to be doing? An assignment to write? An essay to revise? I've been 'going-going-going' so much lately that I feel like I always have a deadline looming or something to catch up on. (Thankfully I recognized my current state of over-extension and reigned back on some extra activities. I tend to keep taking on more without considering the time commitments needed for said projects until I'm worn out. My husband is reading this right now and saying, "No kidding!")
What should I be doing right now? My inbox is still full of emails-needing-responses... I could take care of that. My office is a mess... I could do a little cleaning. I have a writing project due in just a week or two... I really should work on finishing it. My website really needs some attention too, not to mention my late blog. But I just didn't want to do any of those menial tasks. I wanted to create something.
Did you ever get the urge to just make something totally new? Something you've never tried before? I'm not talking bungee-jumping. I mean, starting from scratch: a blank piece of paper, a plain white canvas, a pristine block of clay, or some other medium for creativity. There is something so completely gratifying about shaping it, molding it, coloring it, or changing it into some beautiful form. I love to work with clay, and I love to paint. I love to scrapbook, I love to draw. But, for me, all of those methods of creation require some intense scrutiny of some form of life I am trying to replicate in some fashion. I remember about 9 or 10 years ago when I was doing a watercolor of our dog, Sunshine. By the time I was finished the rough sketch, I had repositioned her on the recliner no less than 27 times.
There's one form of art that requires very little scrutiny for me. It's something I can just sit down and do: writing. I love to create the world the way I want it, to make characters say the things I want them to say, to have purple-haired giants and three-toed slugs rule if I want. I can write happy endings or kill off the mean-old neighbor if I want. I can do whatever I want. I can make a cozy world to slip into when the pressures of this world are mounting.
Tonight is a rare moment of freedom for me. There's nothing immediately looming over my head, no running to do with kids, no end-of-school year concerts or sports banquets. I am awaiting feedback from my advisor before I start on my last packet of the semester. I'm not having company soon so the cleaning can wait, too.
I'm off to write myself another world. A world where I can eat ice-cream forever and not get fat, where presidents are pure, where kids never talk-back, and where I get a raise every time I smile. Maybe I will call it Brownsville, USA. Maybe I will color it purple. I can do that--it's my own world.
PS. I did find that essential truth, finally. It walked up to me as soon as I stopped thinking about it.