I sit listening to Fresh Air Weekend Edition on my computer as Jonah Lehrer is interviewed. His new book Imagine: How Creativity Works sounds fascinating and purchase worthy.
It made me wonder if these last few weeks, nay months, of anemic creativity is a consequence of a sad mood or a percolating near happiness. Lehrer discussed the mostly positive role of mood and especially depression on creativity and productivity. Equally interesting is the role of depression in allowing a writer to shift out of the creative space and do other things like EDIT.
I cannot argue with these theories given the profound level of creativity that has poured out of me in the last four years. And my creative space still churns. My obstacles recently have been my protest, albeit silent resistance. I love the creativity and all the things I write and make and create but I am keenly aware that it sprouts from my melancholy and angst. I am sick of being down. I am willing to trade the creativity for a bit of rest and bliss. I am thankful that my sorrow translates and converts to creativity. When people marvel or wonder at all the things I do, they are oblivious to what is truly in play…..I am sad. I sew and cook and write and create in the wake of sadness. And I intentionally after years of conditioning force myself to DO THINGS when I feel the sadness approaching. Doing is far better than plopping down and letting the weeds grow over me.
But….I sense a quiet and blissful space up ahead. I sense the fog clearing and the sun’s arrival. It is a delicious space. To sit quietly and watch the birds feed and the squirrels crack the birdfeeder puzzle is lovely. To linger in the center of joy is wonderful. I see it up ahead. Sadness is a zone, it has its own geography, a specific terrain. I am excellent at reading maps and I know my internal landscape well. And I know, the road up ahead promises to be beautiful.
I have no delusion or expectation that the terrain won’t change again. In fact, I am sure it will. But, I am a good driver. I have an excellent sense of direction. I am a rugged, all-terrain vehicle. And, I am not out of the desert yet…but I can read the map. It’s up ahead.