Saturday, October 22, 2022

Dreaming the dreams of trees

Here's the thing people don't get about creative types. To the outside world, you may look like a social butterfly--wild, crazy and fun! You may appear as if you're the life of the party. You may even indulge in some over-the-top behavior--drinking, laughing and dancing the shim-sham-shimmie on top of a table while wearing a funny hat.

Truth is, art-making is a confusing and mysterious business. The best of it happens in the dark, in the silent and lonely moments--in a state of confusion, conflict and chaos.

This is the case until the art is ready for public consumption--whether the public is an audience, a reader, an art-lover, or a friend. And then, you step into the light and become a social creature once again.

But you know that within that finished piece of art, hanging on a museum wall or sitting on a shelf in your bookstore or up there on the stage--lives something dark and unfathomable. This is true with even the happiest, silliest, joy-joy-joy creations. It may make an audience or reader laugh, but it owes its existence to a secret hurt that lives inside the artist, some unfinished business, definitely some sorrow.

Creative friends, the season is changing. The weather is getting cooler. These are uncertain times, but the world needs you more than ever--your voice, your point-of-view, your secret hurt. The world needs those edgy ideas that blossom only in the stillness of the night when you are alone inside your own head. The world needs that vision that only you can express.

And just to make it clear--while this artistic thing may have started as a small hard seed deep in the darkness, it can burst forth into the world as something sunny, joyful, even silly or outrageous.

Creative friends, my assignment for you this week is to listen to that small voice inside of you. Resist the desire to put on a funny hat and entertain. Find some time to socially distance. Close your eyes, hunker down, dream the dreams of trees who have shed their extravagant leaves, and stand ready to face the cold.

And yes, you can still have fun.



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