My little family took an almighty roadtrip this last week where one of the stops was my little hometown. I saw an old friend there who I hadn’t actually saw in person in oh about a million years. We chatted about small fry, old houses and current projects. It came up in conversation that I’m not really making anything these days and it’s true.
On the interminable drive from Kaslo to Whistler (11 hours, delayed by ferry shenanigans in Galena Bay), I contemplated that comment a lot. This is the first stretch of time in my life in which I haven’t made stuff. Any stuff. I don’t really even cook, certainly not in a creative fashion. Even my food is utilitarian, though every trip to the farmer’s market causes creativity to bubble up inside me. Too bad that creativity gets thrown out ten days later, having rotted in the fridge.
I used to make a lot of things: I took art and shop and home ec. in highschool, and God knows the SCA kept my fingers busy for almost 15 years. Even when I went back to SFU and may not have had a lot of time for sewing or embroidering or pewter casting or painting or woodworking or armour making, at least I was an English major and could channel my creativity there. I spent a lot of time causing my professors late night marking angst with my obscure thesis statements and leaping metaphors. Even at my most scholarly, there was room for creativity.
So seriously. I have a child. One who loves to play trucks and trains, swing and climb and draw and pour water from one vessel to another, and is a 29lb quickly-moving lump of imaginative play, and I? I am at a loss. He hands me a pen while waiting for food at the restaurant, eager to see what my adult mind and coordinated fingers can create to pass the time before pasta and… I draw an apple. Ok, part of it is to hear his identification of my picture — “appull!” But what else do I draw? Not a heck of a lot. I used to draw interesting things, pretty things. Now I draw a dinosaur. And another apple, this time green. I add a leaf. Ooooo so creative. I pretty much want to put a fork through my eye.
All this isn’t helped by Steve’s unending creativity. His paintings are admired daily at my office; he plays music every day. When I’m asked at musical gatherings what I play, musicality assumed, I respond “taxi driver.” Haha. Too bad it’s true.
I can hear the kind voices of my friends, “oh but you did create! You created a beautiful little person! Just look at Jack!” Whatever. It’s not like he birthed out of my head. My uterus is awesome; my brilliant mind is what is flagging. My fingers have forgotten the feeling of fabric. My sense of aesthetic almost thought that sentence was ok. Obviously this is a problem.
So… I need to make. Stuff. Things. Words. Food on plates that didn’t meet a jar at any time in its culinary journey. I need to draw things that aren’t apples. Or fish. Or “brontosaurus! Look, Jack, a dinosaur! This dinosaur ate leaves and trees. Apple trees. See the APPULL?” I’d like to sew — I have bins of fabric I couldn’t bear to part with. I even have curtain fabric for our
fishbowl kitchen windows. I still have a box of drawing stuff and beautiful blank white pages to start with. I have casting supplies and pewter in Kaslo, leather working items in a tote, a box of tools I could make a cedar deck box with. I have a more-and-more independent small fry who can be reliably entertained at the park for an hour at a time. I have the want to make things burning inside me. So.
I’m starting here. I managed to keep the blog ball in the air for quite a few months, even as a monthly update. I can surely spare some of the time I usually spend reading about other people’s creativity and make something of my own. Ohdeedoh and Young House Love, I’m thinking of you here.
Who knows, maybe I’ll even sew some curtains, much to the relief of my neighbours 🙂