Art Life

Writing Retreat, Day 1

Turns out, a creator who is not creating turns into a beastly nightmare of her former self. What’s more, the creating creator is a much more pleasant beast to be around.

This is likely not news to you, as it is not to me. Yet I seem to relearn it every once in a while.

In the midst of pandemic and everyone coming home and figuring out who does what on which device and how to ethically and sustainably feed ourselves and search for new jobs…in the midst of it all, I let creation fall down. I didn’t feel creative. I didn’t feel like I had the dedicated time to give the creative process. Hearing “mom” 42 times an hour can be a little draining, even when it is a privilege. Just as it’s a privilege to live in a house with what we need and without Covid-19, the sheer size of the pandemic and its ever-flowing impacts can feel suffocating.

My family has a habit a few times a year of indulging a writing retreat for me in the middle of the sometimes-chaos that is our home. I received the blessing for one this Thursday and Friday. I began at 8 am and ended at 9 pm. In between, I mostly wore my noise-canceling headphones. My husband explained that the noise canceling works only when listening to music. I explained that I don’t need music to cancel the noise. I need a signpost. A thing that says, wait, don’t interrupt.

This morning I awoke sunnier than I have felt in weeks. A weight is lifting as I see that I am still making progress, writing is still a thing I love, and edits are not as scary as they advertise themselves to be. I also see that a writing retreat is awesome, but that I can create daily by doing. It may not be the most amazing, the least disjointed, or the cleanest draft, but I can create the way creators always have: by showing up.

So before I launch into day 2, I just wanted to say: create. I firmly believe every person is a creator of something. Try not to create life drama, maybe. But create something today. A jam. A poem. A sketch. A book. An idea. A cake. I don’t know. You do you! See if creating something, anything can make the terribleness of this pandemic a little more bearable.


Who Could Argue with That?

I sometimes miss these days of very young boyisms, but a wise woman once told me to find something to enjoy in every phase. That’s the trick to living in the moment.


Who Could Argue With That?

  • Originally posted on a 6s community, June 13, 2011 at 12:21pm

Air rushes past my ears and rattles the leaves above us. Eldest clicks in time to the stick he drags along the concrete, while Third screeches “Bird, bird!”

Middling hears the clouds speaking, and I don’t discount his conversation. A weedeater winds its fierce bit of string; a truck idles in gassy fumes; somewhere, a dog yips up a storm of self-confidence; we christen a squirrel “Chitter” for the sound she makes at us from her loft in the pine.

I try to focus our effort at exploring the sounds of our neighborhood. As it happens, the children think they may cease to exist if they cannot see through closed eyes and cannot hear themselves through sealed lips; who could argue with that?

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