Creativity and Creation

“Jobs are for people with no sense of adventure.  Or fashion.”

-Flapjack quoting Cap’n K’nuckles

I’ve got a problem.

Well, it’s not really a problem, but it’s something that’s been on my mind recently.

If I were to hit the Lotto I’d still work.  Probably on a contract basis, though.  Jobs/professions/careers are necessary for sanity, I think.  But so are flexibility and variety.

It’s that whole balance/equilibrium conundrum.  And you know my thing.  Making music and designing stuff and mtn biking and writing and hanging with friends is my way of aspiring to some kind of humanity in our soul draining rut inducing society.   Okay, that’s cynical.

It’s now clear to me after a few decades that living an interesting life takes intentional effort.  Otherwise … bleh.  You spend your life in front of the TV (or computer) racking up debt on gadgets and wonder how the past ten years totally flew by without any “meaningful” accomplishments whatsoever.

I think the work week should be 4 days long and that Fridays should, culturally, be “pursue your hobby/passion” day.  Drinking is not a hobby, by the way.  Sorry.  But since that’s not the case I try to create something with music or writing or blogging when I can.  But always, something suffers.  Something’s gotta give, right?  Healthy eating, sufficient sleep, one hobby for another, exercise, relationships.

Fear

The problem is, I realized that I’m lacking something critical.  Or to put it another way, I’m plagued by fear.  The greatest artists (and some of the crappiest ones) do their thing and I marvel at their fearlessness.  There are a lot of things that I don’t write or put out there because I’m afraid of what people will think of me.  Friends, family, random internet passersby.

Like, some of the best books I’ve read and movies I’ve seen are dark and troubling.  And I want to take a shot at that genre.  I’ve got some writings and long term “projects” but I hesitate to let other people read them.  Because seriously,  if you’re a regular person and you express darker elements in your stuff people can give you a vibe.

If you’re famous or on a national level you can put the most wanton violence and sexuality out there and have groupies, fans, followings and megamillions.

I was corresponding online with a woman via Yahoo! Personals.  It seemed like a good fit initially.  Eventually, in an email I included my email tag, which includes a link to my website so she saw all the stuff that I work on and put on there: music, stories, blogs.  She seemed impress, which pleased me.  I mentioned that I was trying to get some of my short stories together and one in particular.

She asked what it was about.  So I told her.  And never heard from her again.  Now, that could have been coincidence.  It is entirely possible that it was coincidence.  Maybe between the time she asked and the time I answered, her Prince Charming swept in and whisked her off to the South of France.  But I felt like it was my answer to “What’s your story about?”, though.

Snitch

One of the stories I’ve been working on a tiny bit at a time is … I don’t know if you all know about the horrible story in the news about a family in Baltimore that was active in the community.  They reported drug dealers in the community.  One night their house was set on fire, killing the entire family: father, mother, five children.

The story, “Snitch”, which is meant to be a long short story, I’m working on in dribs and drabs is inspired by that tragedy in the same way that Law & Order episodes are “ripped from the headlines” or “based on true events” but any names or similarities to anyone who ever lived is purely coincidental.  And I’ll add that when I say “inspired” I mean “haunted by”.

In “Snitch”, the father survives a brutal attack on his family and struggles with revenge and doing the right thing.  I want it to be multi-layered.  Because doing the right thing often has consequences and tragedy changes people.

Art & Neuroses

So that’s just one example.  I was talking to a friend about all of this and he mentioned a quote to me that I can’t remember.  I’ll have to ask him about it so I can put it here.  But the substance of it is that supressed or restrained art isn’t art.

I guess I’m trying to come to grips with that.  There are lyrics and stories and poems that I wrote years ago that have never seen the light of day because I’m afraid of what people will think.  Or you show your stuff to someone and they kind of give a squeamish, uncomfortable response but wrapped in politeness.

And there are things I’ve written and had on my web site or in blogs or even in conversations that I’m now embarrassed and uneasy about.  None of it is, like, psychotic or dangerous.  Just … personal?  I’ve always wanted to draw/paint/photograph nudes, but I don’t want people to think I’m creepy.

But let’s face it.  A lot of artists are neurotic or creepy or addicted to one thing or another.  Artists are known to be odd and otherwise socially rebellious or oppositional.  Maybe it works to your advantage if you need to attract attention and publicity.

I guess, though, you can’t aspire to any form of greatness if you’re going to be cowardly about it.

Hm.  Food for thought.  I’ll probably have more on this later but I’m fading.  Past my bedtime.

Playlist

Shimmer and Shine
Ben Harper

Keep it Together
Ben Harper

A Long Walk
Jill Scott

Jesus Is Love
The Commodores

Thinking of You
Tony Toni Tone

We Fall Down
Donnie McClurkin

Passing By
Zero 7

Holding Back the Years
Simply Red

My Peoples
DJ Jazzy Jeff & Raheim

Ain’t Too Proud to Beg
The Temptations

Innocence
Terence Blanchard

This World
Zero 7

Love
Musiq

Tell Her You Saw Me
Pat Metheny

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