The delusive idea that men merely toil and work for the sake of preserving their bodies and procuring for themselves bread, houses, and clothes is degrading, and not to be encouraged. The true origin of man’s activity and creativeness lies in his increasing impulse to embody outside of himself the divine and spiritual element within him. -Frobel
I have lived with the idea that creativity is a muscle that increases in strength the more you use it. I imagined that it was something that I could improve with time, as I kept making more art and refining my technique, perhaps creative ideas would flow liberally and this would be an upward spiral feeding on itself.
I was working a full time job that while I did enjoy it, it wasn’t a creative position, I was working according to a formula. I was solving problems, but they weren’t really creativity problems, and so my ‘creativity muscle’ wasn’t being used very much. I assumed that once I broke out of that routine, and was able to use my creativity more (in starting new ventures, creating new things, making new things, writing, editing, and designing) that I would flow into that routine and have creativity bursting at the seams…
Now that I am in the middle of that new paradigm shift, and creativity is required in all moments of my life, I find that I see it much more as a precious resource that can be wasted, and exhausted if spent poorly. I have been allowing my creativity to spill out of every crack and crevice in my life, I have been persuing every little idea and speculative thought that creeps into my head, and after a few months of this, I realize how draining this can be, and I am trying to reign in my wild abandon at getting into new things.
I am disappointed that I have run into this wall, but it only makes sense that creative work will become exhausting just the same as physical work exhausts bodily resources and must be conserved carefully.
I pondered that idea over the weekend, as I ran completely out of ideas last week because I was spending too much of my time making things and brainstorming, but this week is the start of a new phase, I will be more careful not to waste my creative energies on unimportant things.
Time to get cracking!
Why is it that nearly everyone expects, and wants a career that is dependent on others? A larger entity than ourselves seems to offer stability and control, we don't feel like we are all alone on the seas of change, we are anchored to something larger and greater, and that gives strength to our small petty lives. A career is something like that, it is a system of climbing up through the ranks of others who are doing just the same, and who are fighting you for a chance to be where you want to be.
I have always looked at the idea of a career with apprehension and suspicion. It seems to be only a gilded coffin to climb into and then pull down the lid, and nail it closed with your own hands. The idea of staying inside the same system year after year, and moment after moment is so limiting and degrading. I want my horizons open and the skies clear of clouds. I like to keep my bags packed and always be ready for the next challenge. After about 5 years of doing the same thing, and being the same place, I start to get itchy feet and want to head out and start new.
Several years ago, I worked in maintenance at a manufacturing plant, and there were several people who worked on the production lines who had been there for 20 years doing the same job. That would be torture for me. The complete end to everything I am. I would shrivel up and die if i didn't have variety in my life. I can simply not imagine a life that is unchanging like that. How can one possibly cope?
I remember that they were nice guys, but their whole life revolved around going home and cracking open a beer in-front of the TV. How is it possible to live like that?
Goodbye to Facebook, Twitter & Instagram.
I am using the whole of 2013 to focus more on real life not the shell of one I attend to on Facebook. I want to spend more time being creative, and not obsessing over how many likes I can gather.
After this year of absence from the social side of the Internet I hope to be more able to keep my mind clear of the clutter that seems to be present in my life partially because of Facebook and the like.
I have let my long-form writing lapse, and my own website ( this one) is nearly abandoned, and for what? For an addiction to the instant feedback that I get from my Facebook friends…
Many people I genuinely like and am real-life-friends with are on Facebook, and yes I will miss that part of the experience, but I still have Email, and a phone. Give me an email or a call.. Even better: drop me a real-honest-to-goodness letter.
Sitting patiently waiting for my wife to come out of her spa treatment, ( her birthday treat from me)
I was approached by the receptionist with a copy of ESPN Magazine in her hand. She had noticed me sitting reading a copy of ‘Better Homes And Gardens’, and must have assumed that I was only reading out of lack of options. (There aren’t many men’s magazines in the waiting room of a Day Spa apparently)
Little did she realize that I have far less interest in sports than in gardening. I just don’t care about sports or who got traded to what team for how much. What’s the point? Not that I am a gardener -I’m not.
She made an assumption that because I am a man, that I would prefer sports. An assumption that is as understandable as it is wrong, and not unlike many I have made myself.
Stereotypes, ( Though they might as well be called Monotypes) are easy to make and usually about 80% accurate. It’s the 20% that bites you.
In my daily job, it is necessary to make snap judgements on the temperament of people and large dogs several times a day. ( I am perhaps more accurate with the dogs) I spend a lot of my day inside other people’s homes making holes in their walls, carpets, and floors. I move their computers and expensive audio and Tv equipment around at will, I put ladders on their houses, and walk across their roofs. Reading people is important.
A dirty house unusually means a careless person, an immaculate entry, and white carpet means precision and a whole different set of expectations. Knowing what is expected goes a long way towards reaching complete satisfaction for the people I have to please.
The oxymoron isn’t predictable.