Saturday, November 15, 2008

The Ebb and Flow of Creative Juices

I’m currently reading The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay by Michael Chabon. First and foremost, let me just say that I love this book and would highly recommend it. In short, it’s the story of two cousins- one from New York, the other from Prague, both Jewish- and their success as pioneers in the comic book industry in America during WWII. For those that are not at all interested in comic books, I assure you this book is still fascinating and well worth reading.

The other night I was reading and came to a line that I just loved and that so resonated with me. It’s a scene early on in the book, while the main characters are still just young boys dreaming of creating their own comic book. One character, Joe, had just masterfully scaled the fire escape of an empty New York apartment building, and his cousin looked on…

"As he watched Joe stand, blazing, on the fire escape, Sammy felt an ache in his chest that turned out to be, as so often occurs when memory and desire conjoin with a transient effect of weather, the pang of creation. "

I love that line. I love it because I so understand it. I know that pang and that ache in my chest to simply create. I think this is a God-given desire, regardless of the gifts or talents He has given us. I fully believe that he has fashioned us after His own heart, and that His heart is the heart of a true Creator.

Whatever our ability may be, we all possess the desire to create. One person may make music, while another can capture a blazing sunset within the confines of a painted canvas. One person can produce ideas and methods that push the flow of business, while another person can cultivate a warm and welcoming environment that invites the cold and hungry. One may master a pencil and sketchpad; another may master the kitchen and culinary world. This world is full of thinkers and writers and visionaries and inventors and crafters and dreamers, and regardless of what means we utilize, our end is always a creation of sorts.

Lately I've really been feeling that pang- that ache to use any and all the gifts God gave me and just make something of it. I want a job that I enjoy and that provides me an outlet for my passions (don't we all). I want to draw or write or paint. I want to scrapbook; I want to blog; I want to write a novel. I want to be a published children's book illustrator. I want to learn to cook, and I want to make something worthy of selling in a Christmas craft fair. My problem is that I want to do them all, I want to do them well, and I want to do them simultaneously. The end result is this spewing volcano of creative desire that will probably erupt into one solid week of hibernating and trying to accomplish all at once, followed by an extremely deflated and exhausted me that is devoid of any creative inclinations whatsoever.

Anyone else out there go through these same cycles, or is it just me?

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Does Anyone Else Think This Is Funny?

Ok, so normally I really try to avoid using things like WebMD as it tends to cause me unreasonable amounts of paranoia. One moment I'm experiencing mild cold symptoms, the next I'm convinced that I've contracted some rare form of Mongolian baht fly virus, mad cow disease, or any other number of ailments containing an animal name prefix and an -itis suffix. However the other night at work I couldn't resist doing a little research on some worrisome symptoms my friend was experiencing.

For those not familiar with WebMD, allow me to provide a brief overview... After clicking on the pale little man labeled "symptom checker", you're directed to click on the specific portion of your body that is giving you trouble. It then proceeds to present you with a ridiculously long list of possible symptoms (most of which will make you feel much better, by comparison, about your current complaint or illness). While you scan the list and select all symptoms that apply to you, WebMD compiles a list of all possible diseases, syndromes, disorders, etc. However some of the symptoms you select will then prompt you to provide a more in depth description. The following screenshot is one I came across the other night:

In case that's a little too hard to read, that does in fact say "encounter with an octopus in the south Pacific".

On a side note- my friend went to the real doctor a few days later and found that she has neither Mongolian baht fly virus nor mad cow disease. She's feeling much better, in fact.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

A Word About Daylight Savings

I used to love the “Fall Back” time of year. Seriously, what’s not to love?

Here’s what’s not to love:

Clocks go back an hour at 2:00am. I work an 8-hour swing shift that ends at 2:00am. Therefore, as I sat here tonight nearing the end of my shift and watching that final minute pass from 1:59 to 2:00-- the minute that generally signals my freedom and all-around happiness-- something terrible happened instead. I have never felt as defeated as when I witnessed 1:59am become 1:00am. I imagine this may be what Hell is like (this, and also an eternity of trying to match Tupperware lids to their proper bowls).

I used to hate “Spring Forward” day. Oh how I miss those days…