Sunday, March 27, 2011

Creativity Disguised as Jane Eyre and Tea

So many things seem to have been transpiring against me lately in terms of keeping up with this blog. I lost my camera, which was definitely a set-back, though until I replace it, I've resorted to taking pictures from my cell phone. The main setback, of course, is that time-consuming thing called "earning a living". But that is not the focus of my ramblings today. Rather, it is the story of my search for creativity, when the hours of the day close so quickly around me. And when, after work, I find myself plopping down in the evenings,somewhat depleted of energy. While I was working as a full-time artist, I could not only find the creative impulse but also transform it into something tangible. How much harder it is to cultivate something I cannot see; something that does not become actualized, but rather remains in the world of ideas and emotion. Or does it? Let me consider what becomes of my creativity when I unable to create a piece of art. To begin with, for a few months now I have been reading all of the Bronte sisters novels, in my evenings. I've read novels by Ann, Emily and now Charlotte. The words and language that these amazing women write are nothing short of delicious. Their characters have incredibly rich inner lives. I am, at this moment, half way through Jane Eyre. Jane is a working woman and does not have the luxury of oodles of free time. Yet she exudes the mind of an artist; simply by her manner of observation and keen reflection on all that surrounds her and all she experiences. I too, am capable of intentional observation; I too (I tell myself as I place down the book each night) am able to absorb the world through artist eyes. How do I cultivate this? Sometimes through keeping a graphic journal; sometimes by sitting with a friend on Saturday afternoons and discussing our challenges and joys; sometimes by throwing together a batch of muffins in an effort to use up a zucchini that is looking rather wilted in my fridge. And then, finally, with a cup of tea at the end of the day, celebrating the moment by reading another chapter of Jane Eyre.