The Drive to Create

For a long time now, I have been bemoaning my lack of inspiration, my creative blockages, and my growing desperation that my soul was lost forever, shriveled into a tiny walnut-shell of its former succulent self.

Last summer, I traveled to Peru, and while it was incredible (I took 3,000 pictures) it did not kickstart my creativity in the ways I had hoped. (Probably because I spent most of the rest of my vacation in bed with excruciating back spasms.) During my work year, I also struggle with any creativity outside of the range of developing lessons (a very different kind of creative process, but creative nonetheless.) Academic creativity, while satisfying, is a cerebral kind of expression, and rarely does it fully  feed the needs of heart and spirit that writing or making art provide.

Everyone has the need to create. Whether it’s cooking, or art, or designing games, or forming opinions in a blog, or programming, or painting giant canvases, we are the sum of creation, and we are born to express ourselves in many ways, large and small. For me, I have always enjoyed expressing myself in a variety of ways ( Hence, the title “freelance dilettante.”) I am the worst dancer in the world –I always say I have three left feet– yet I have taken classes or workshops in ballet, modern dance, folk dance, Middle Eastern dance, African dance and have even attempted a little salsa, not to mention Zumba and aerobics. I suck, but it’s fun, and it feels good to move your body. I don’t consider myself an artist, but I took it in high school, and have since produced paintings, collages, mixed-media works, some handicrafts (Sadly, I get distracted and don’t finish most of them) and all kinds of projects. I especially love decoupage. My home looks like the place bottles of Mod Podge go to die.

Of course, I have always been a writer. Ever since I was four, and wrote “The E,” I loved writing stories (although some were flat-out plagiarism) and, later, poetry (that came at around the age of ten. It was bad.) Even through years of inspiration desert, I still wrote: ritual, curriculum, and posts. From Yahoogroups to Livejournal to Facebook, I wrote out my thoughts, hopes, frustrations, and dreams.  I will likely continue to do so, because writing is the way awkward, self-conscious people with social anxiety make connections with others. With Poetas Sin Fronteras, I am throwing myself out into the world again, with the hopes of making some writing happen, and once again opening my soul creatively through the written/spoken word.

I have fear. I am not afraid, per se, of jumping in to PSF, but I have a feeling that I need to have a creative cushion, something to inspire the flow, and give more (sub)texture to the work I have ahead of me. So, my friend L. and I have decided, with some other women, to work on therapeutic art journaling. It is amazing. Mixed media, decoupage, color, words. Perfect for the heart of an art dilettante like myself. I have begun my journal, but I am vacationing with my friend, far from my crowded and cluttered art closet, which is soon to be even more cluttered (thanks, Amazon.) I have plans, though, and I am fired up. I feel as if being able to add color and texture to my page will help give added emphasis to my words, and push them to outshine the background. I can’t wait to explore my Self, my dreams, my values, and more, through a variety of media. My imagination is bursting with ideas, and right behind the images, are words, germinating, gestating, and waiting to be born.

The drive has always been within me. I just need, right now, to put it into gear.

Words and art have always been therapeutic for me. I am truly looking forward to the marriage of both to lift me from this place of inertia and emotional drought. The internal life, when we set it free, is colorful, textured, intertwined, passionate, and juicy. I have longed to feel this again for a long time. It’s time is now.

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