Ricë Freeman-Zachary, at Notes from the Voodoo Cafe posted the Nadine Stair poem. You know, the one in which she talks about what she’d do if she could live her life over. She’d make more mistakes, be sillier, eat ice cream.
Hmm, well, I was one of those people who decided at an early age to live differently. I climbed mountains, swam rivers (with crocodiles!), and ate a lot ice cream. I didn’t live sanely for the first half of my life. Yeah, it was fun. Yeah, it made me what I am today: A person with a lot of unusual experiences, great memories. The problem was, I didn’t really apply myself to anything but experiencing. So now, well, there’s a lot I do without. So for the last 10 years I’ve been doing the sane thing, with a raincoat and hotwater bottle, trying to make a parachute with which my misspent youth can land more softly into old age.
Problem is, I can’t seem to shake the need to live creatively. I can’t shake the obsessive need to draw and paint, to tell stories, to sing and play music, even if it means I don’t study something useful, like accounting or database design. Sometimes I get discouraged, and vow to stop all that watercolor and charcoal activity. Pack away the flute and whistle.
But then I read books like Ricë’s book, Creative Time and Space; Making Room for Making Art. It gets me going again, makes me realize that there is a place in the world for people like me, and that sometimes some of us can earn a living. It’s like a little jet pack, boosting me to create every time I dip into it.
And I’m trying hard to live creatively, even while I’m wearing a raincoat and lugging around that hot water bottle. I often get to climb, if not a mountain, at least a hill. And I occasionally eat ice cream.
But I have given up the crocodiles. For a while. At least until I’ve got some sort of parachute patched together. Then who knows where I’ll land.