Friday, June 25, 2010

A definition - Creative Wandering

In answer to an inquiry about my definition of a creative wanderer...

"When you feel in your gut what you are and then dynamically pursue it - don't back down and don't give up - then you're going to mystify a lot of folks."

- Bob Dylan

What do I feel in my gut? I feel I am an artist, but I don't wish to be pigeonholed into a specific type of artist and a specific medium. I enjoy writing but I have no direction and no concrete vision. I enjoy directing theatre, but I seldom have the time to perfect my craft. I enjoy painting and cutting and sewing and quilting and decorating and cooking and photography...but I am not an expert at any those things.

I have dreams of going back to school to study visual arts, but I'm not sure I could choose a focus. Would I have to? I'm sure I couldn't just float around like I have for the past forty-two years. I chose theatre once, and I'm happy I did, but once the decision was made the expectations began. I needed to make a living, I needed to fill my vitae, I needed to become a name. 

I have spent time with other art forms, but as soon as they became public commodities, the free flow of ideas stopped, or slowed considerably. How can an artist make a living at his or her craft and stay true to a vision? How can the pressure of public consumption not have an effect on how or why things are accomplished? If I go back to school and pick a medium, will I be under pressure to do what the public wants in order to begin to cover the costs of school and the time away from my family?

I feel energized now when I find a new interest. The costs and time away rejuvenate me so that I can focus on the needs of others. 

So what is in my gut? Is it "art" or is it "creativity?" Are they the same? Can they be the same? Do I have to create for others in order to feel that the act is complete? Maybe not...but I certainly have been more willing to write in the past 18 days knowing that someone else was going to read it. Do I need that external pressure to keep me motivated? 

I hope that I never stop searching for that one thing that fulfills me. Maybe it's the search that is fulfilling. There have been times in my life when I have not had a search underway and I am not content...I have wanderlust. I have tried to fill those moments with the guidance of others, but that's their vision and my will to complete someone else's vision is not strong. The best, most fulfilling of all tasks are those that come to me as flickers of light...flickers of knowing. Those that take their time to develop. Those that sit patiently in the back of my mind until the flicker of knowing becomes a steady ray of light.  They may be sparked by others, sparked by a visit to a place or the words of a song, but they are not prescribed. 

I wander through my life looking for inspiration. I act upon that inspiration with devotion and enthusiasm. I move on. Sometimes the outcome if fantastic. Sometimes there is no outcome. Sometimes the trial leads to something better down the road. I think the key is to continue to allow myself the freedom to act upon the inspiration. No one is ever good at everything, even their greatest talent isn't always perfection. We expect ourselves to be perfect  the first time, every time. Success takes failure. Failure teaches us what to avoid. It's the trying that is more important than the finishing.

So I think...THINK...what's in my gut...the thing that I should continue to dynamically pursue is creative wandering. I am a creative wanderer. All those who wander are not lost...just engaged in a process. Thanks Bob! Namaste


Kimberley said...

well said. I know I am a writer. But also have the wanderlust of creativity as describe - I like what you're saying - embrace the wanderlust!

Plain and Joyful Living said...

Oh, I am always telling my family to listen to your gut - that is God speaking to you....
Warm wishes.