There is this creative spark that resides within us all. While it may not manifest itself as something so obvious as an inclination towards art, it can be held within the sparkle of your eye as you are taken in by an engaging movie or beautiful sunset. For many of us, we are taken to monotonous shifts of work, sleep, survival. Long gone are the highs of idealism many of us embrace in our college years.
Right now I'm attending college. An accelerated program. I enjoy the social interaction that I may not get otherwise. Talking about American Idol is fun albeit not fulfilling. Yet do we deserve a fulfilling career? Are we meant to feel satisfied by our conversations, friendships, interactions, and accomplishments?
Media and marketing would have you think otherwise. There is never enough. You do not have all the colors. Your life is not yet perfect. Buy now. But what of accomplishments and fulfillment? That is where the creative spark comes back in again.
I believe Mother Theresa said that you need oil to light the lamp. We yearn for a creative life or at least a successful one. Whatever that may be. So what oil do we have? Surely not the bread and butter used to pay your rent. That creates a light, but it is dull like florescent - casting everything in a sickly light. Do plants grow in such light? This magical oil, this source of all things, can fuel the inner fire to keep us moving. It needs us as much as we need it. But where do you find it?
Can it be seen in the scribblings on a page? The words encased on the crisp monitor of life? There has to be some threshold jumped, some leap of faith into the unknown. For when art is made to pay the bills, it become rote and routine. There is no gold there. Sure the muse might send us a peak. We might uncover something magical. But I do feel we lose a sense of meaning when we create for the purpose of survival.
On the other hand, I feel we need to create in order to live a fulfilling life. Yet through the act of living creatively, we wipe away all that is untrue. When opening up to the creative spark, our shadows shine even brighter. There is no where to hide.
While trying to waste some time (avoiding the creative leap), I watched America's Next Top Model. Modeling is an act of creation. One must be beautiful, made up, air brushed, flawless. At the same time, one must be natural, open, and free flowing. The woman, this beautiful gazelle, was eliminated from the show. Why? She looked posed. She lacked a naturalness in her movements. She tried too hard. The camera bared all.
Yet how do we know if we are being open? Is there a sense of freedom in our movements? Do we get into the zone? What exactly is the zone anyway? How many of us go through our lives playing a part - as cliche as it sounds? How will we know when we have done right by ourselves? Does it take heavy doses of introspection? A shitty childhood? A proverbial hitting of rock bottom? Oh, do we need to simply delve further into our spirit, into our art, our lives.
What does it take to fully open up our lives? How do we revive the dormant? And how do you do it without it feeling forced? Contrived? Posed? Unnatural?
We must first pay attention to ourselves. When certain songs come on the radio that lighten us up, that fill us with a dancing we cannot control. Those are the moments. Pay attention. You were a little more alive just then. There. Right there. Don't miss it. Or that family on TV that got a new house to help fill their hearts after some such tragedy. You had some feeling then. What do you make of it?
What do you make of it? Really? Are you willing to marinate in your thoughts? The good and the bad? Can you linger with the shadows of doubt that you have something inside you worth digging for? Do you yearn for a creative life? For something more than what you are living now?
Well, I do. And I've decided to stick around and explore: what's in my head, what's in the world, and what isn't. Maybe I'll find something magical. Maybe I won't. But in the end, at least I'll have light for my path.
That's my ramble for the night. Enjoy.