Perhaps because of where we’re at, creativity has been on my mind. There are the gardeners (Gardener’s World’s Monty Don anyone?), the bakers (The Great British Baking Show), the chefs (Chef’s Table, The Chef Show), the musicians, the writers, the artists, the photographers…
As far back as I can remember I have wanted to be a novelist. Not a journalist, or an essayist, not a memoirist. (That sounded quite Seussian…I diverge…). My pull to fiction had to do with my upbringing, the need for safety, the need for hope. I’ve been an avid reader since I could. It’s where I go when the world and it’s people, my world and my people, become too much. I’ve been reading more than usual lately…
And that made me want to write too, to be the calm respite in the angry chaos. The deep breath in a time when you are holding your own.
Now, I wonder…is it that I actually want to write or is it that I love the romanticized idea of the writer. To be clear, I have written a book so I’m not an idealist as far as the time spent, the work involved. And it isn’t a terribly good book. I say that with full objectivity. But it was a first attempt. That book was proof that I could do it.
With all of the artistic shows, the documentaries I’ve been watching, the theme seems to be that these people bring creativity to everything that they do. They seem meant to be doing it.
I saw a Chef’s Show with Robert Rodriguez as the “guest” (not exactly a guest, but you’d have to have seen it for it to make sense. I highly recommend the show). He’s a director, making films since he was a kid, then he segued over to how he wanted to know how to make chocolate so he took an online class. I should mention, he learned how to make chocolate from the bean. He said how he teaches his actors to draw and paint, an unleashing of creativity.
A guitar sits behind me as I type this. It’s in tune, but I don’t know how to play it. Not well anyway.
My lessons ended as one of the lesser losses of COVID. But truth be told, I wasn’t really enjoying them anyway.
So I wonder…are the Robert Rodriguezes of the world different? Are they more talented, more gifted, perhaps just more focused? Or have the rest of us filled our minds with so many hacks and so much social media sameness that we have lost perspective of the work it takes to do something small and beautiful. Something unique. Something thoughtful. Something that only we could come up with. Maybe we’ve lost the curiosity.
I’m going to look for it this weekend.