I’ve been drafting ideas through the spring to write about, but did not ask my mind to do more than it could do in a healthy way. Without a Director or a full staff at my job, the extra thinking and work required to keep rolling took up some creative mind space.
That’s how it works, isn’t it? Some people put militant boundaries around their creative time and space, and some of us compromise it, trying to go with the ebb and flow of our lives. I guess some of us switch between these strategies. Because my schedule changes weekly, monthly, and by semesters, I’ve been going with the ebb and flow. And finding how easy it is to ebb and how hard to flow. Yup, same story, different day. I know.
There’s endless advice out there about handling a creative life, some of it excellent. A lot boils down to actually practicing whatever commitment is right for you.
Even when I’m not actively engaged in my creative routine, my consciousness seems to circle around the space where it could be. The type of paid work I do, and the difficulties that come with it, are what I have chosen and love. I choose not to have and not to do any number of things other people might really need. I don’t need them as much as I need that circled space, full or empty. I have let go of what I can do without in order to have what I need, and that’s not always a comfortable statement. And I often fail to take advantage of the space I’ve made.
As the late Andre Dubus (not Andre Dubus III) once wrote in his fiction, “It was not as simple as money…it was as complex as the soul. But so often the body ruled,…and when it was overwhelmed, venom could spread through the soul…with money, one could soothe the body, give it rest.” When we have what we do need, and that includes financial stability,, it’s true the soul, body and creative life can be healthier, more whole. What price do we pay to have that? Some of us give up ideal creative space/time for the “good enough” space/time that we can afford to sustain.
That requires choice, what life will consist of and what it will not, what is positive and not, what is bearable and not. No one has full choice; Life doesn’t work that way. So Choice about our own lives is precious, as daily life is precious in the knowledge of its ultimate ending. I believe in karma, the consequences of choices. We are all playing a role in the Fabric that binds us together. To take away Choice is to take away that ultimate right, that of fulfilling what we are as pieces of the Universe.
What I create or don’t is my business and my responsibility. So much that happens in life cannot be and won’t be our Choice. To take away any of what is our Choice, is unconscionable.