In a world where violence and insane politics seem to reign, I have found that for me, my only true happiness exists with artistic creativity. There seem to be obstacles to wellness, emotional and physical, at every turn. Was it always like this? It’s hard to say, but the only way I can feel decent and leave anxiety behind is by involving myself in something creative, which allows me to lose time.
I have to admit I’m a bit of a clock watcher. I seem to time things and do things according to a self-imposed schedule. It helps me feel grounded and secure, it helps me know I’m taking care of business, but it doesn’t do much for my psyche or my desire to create. When I am free of time and place, watching words flow onto a page and making them clearer and more direct, I have unparalleled joy. I feel the same happiness when I teach writing, which I just started doing in class form this year. I’ve been teaching one on one for decades, collaborating and editing and helping people organize their work, but as far as a class where we all interact and support each other, there is really nothing like it. It is pure joy to sit back and listen to spontaneous pieces my students write on the spot. We all love sharing them as they take on new meaning and humor or depth as we read to each other. And then, I become a student, too, as I learn from each and every person who comes into my classes.
All artistic pursuits have a great deal in common. They allow us to stretch into an undefined world, as we dig deep to find buried treasure that needs to be written, painted, or sung. Perhaps the best part is that we, the creators, have no idea what is about to come out. We are as surprised as the next person to see what we really feel about things, what we have to impart and how much we need to express ourselves in our own unique ways. As there is only one of us, we all have something to offer and when I do that, I am rewarded by the process, itself.