Pushing Large Rocks Uphill

A warm, foggy, dreary sort of day, more like Eliot’s early April than January, somehow fitting given our non-winter. I’m drinking my morning cup of coffee and listening to Vivaldi’s “Summer” from the “Four Seasons”; I wonder what he would make of this.

As I wrote in my last post, the Holidays rather got away from us, with my knee, the kitchen, and all. I continue to be surprised to discover just how much a bum knee interferes with almost every aspect of the Holidays, leading to an intense sense of limitation. While it precluded shopping and concerts and such, I did manage to get into the studio, work on photo projects, and explore the new synth. Anyway, the knee remains gimpy so an MRI is the offing.

Speaking of the new synth, it has been shipped back to the seller. I spent way too many hours unsuccessfully trying to get it to behave before it finally just stopped working. Still, I learned a great deal about the synth and am looking forward to receiving the replacement come Friday.

Last night, as I lay waiting for sleep. my mind was filled with projects of all sorts: visual, auditory, and mixed media. It was quite exciting really. This morning all those ideas seem to have fled. This is not an uncommon experience, although it remains a disappointing one. Sometimes ideas and accompanying excitement are there in the morning and sometimes not. I like to think they remain somewhere close at hand, even when unavailable, just waiting for the opportunity to make themselves known.

There is something about the creative process that remains mysterious and illusive. I often wonder how so many people continue to create under dreadful conditions. Covid is a great case in point. I struggled to create much of the time, then went on periodic creative benders which I thoroughly enjoyed. From what I hear, some creatives became profoundly creative, some, like me, muddled through, and some found themselves frozen. Of course, some artists continue to create in even more extreme conditions, as we now witness in the Ukraine.

I guess this impulse to create is fundamental to life; evolution continues even in the midst of terrible destruction. I try to keep this in mind as I witness the ongoing mass extinction event, and sharp veer towards totalitarianism, we are forcing on the planet and each other. Yet, I struggle to hold both the promise of renewal and the pain of watching so much I love destroyed; I’m still trying to figure out how to make space for my own creativity in the midst of so much chaos and loss.

I used to tell students who were creatively frozen just to go into the studio for four hours each day and do whatever: sweep, snooze, write, play music, scribble. Most of the time they would magically return to being creative in a week or two, often drawing inspiration from the very sources of their stuckness.

I’m trying to follow my own advice, working on doing something creative each day, hoping to build momentum. Right now this is definitely pushing large rocks uphill.

9 thoughts on “Pushing Large Rocks Uphill

  1. To carry on with responding to comments… sometimes a jeep is just the thing. As for creativity…I am convinced that the urge to create, in both big and small ways, burns bright in most of us. It is one of our best qualities, and I think that creativity is exactly what we need to overcome the many challenges we face. Finally, hope the new synth works the way it should.

  2. Hey Michael,
    Odd to read this today. I woke up with a swollen left knee. It wasn’t the right one this time. I spent lots of time rehabbing that one.
    I agree it is very limiting on my mobility. Feeding horses and doing farm chores prove to be very challenging. I would suggest a tractor to move the rocks uphill. But since the loss of my Michael D. Every day is uphill. Yet I find things to be grateful for every day.

    1. Hi Sheila, certainly being grateful makes an enormous difference. I am often reminded of Tolkien and his insistence on caring for every living thing, even in hard times. Sometimes my heart rebels at the task of caring and being grateful at the same time. Having grown up with long visits to our family farm, it is telling I did not go to the tractor first. I hope your knees improve.

Please share your thoughts and join the conversation!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.