A Visit to the Fabric Store

Note: The following post relates to the project requirements for my Foundations in Creativity class. 
Originally posted to the creativity blog on November 11.

I read an interesting article about the handwritten lyrics of several famous musicians, from Kurt Cobain to David Bowie. I am fascinated by the crossing out and the changes in handwriting. I enjoy watching the progress of others. Why I do not have the same patience in myself, I will never know. We don’t have enough time during this class for me to undergo therapy.

Meanwhile, my despondency grows every day. I need to finish the project in the next week so that I have time to write the paper, all the while completing daily assignments, my work, and the household tasks. I am miserable without some parameters and limitations. My ADHD is really deciding on a lovely time to be indecisive.

I went for a walk around the neighborhood to see if inspiration was outside the house. Everything comes down to not enough money to do something fantastic and certainly not enough time.

Feeling is so important. I must feel it first. Something must spark my imagination. Without that, I am dismissive of everything. I cannot get more time. I cannot get unlimited resources. I cannot settle for a creation that isn’t connected to me emotionally. I don’t know how to do that without feeling like a fraud. The cannots are entirely crippling and heart breaking. At the root of this, I am dissatisfied. I seek something glorious! Well worth my time and effort. I tried to outsmart myself by focusing on small, everyday things but here, three weeks later, I feel fraudulent and shallow. Have you ever heard this before? Am I the only person struggling?

The fabric store around the corner from our house is going out of business. It’s sad, for someone who sews, to watch this demise but the deals on fabric are fantastic. Although money is tight because I had to pay for the Tweed Ride spoke cards to be printed (annoying), I did manage to pick up a silk remnant and some lovely upholstery fabric with vintage scientific illustrations of butterflies on it. It will make a nice throw pillow as ours seem to have evolved into boring monochromatic poofs.

Tonight I contemplate working on an existing project that has long-laid unfinished. Or, perhaps something new? There was this divine fabric at the store. And during this, a little voice says to sit down at the keyboard and just see if anything happens.

Why am I almost afraid? My physical voice has degenerated – what if my inner voice, my music has as well? I could not bear discovering my soul has gone silent. It would be devastating. So I avoid that for now, although, in times of such emotional turmoil, my music has always been my true comfort. My husband, good sport that he is, suggests we work on a nice gloomy Gothic song about how miserable this project is making me.

{dishes have been done and I return to the blog}

I think I have a plan! After chatting a bit with friends regarding if adaptation is creative enough, I will make a dress. The consensus is that there isn’t anything new in fashion anyway. But I need to relax. Have you ever felt anxiety? I don’t mean emotionally, but physically. Every muscle is working and tingling. Even my hair stands on end.

{there was ice cream and I finally used my colored pencils}

Two hours of coloring later, which is the adult sort that is supposed to calm you down when you’re upset, and my hand is aching. Yes, I do feel calmer. Is coloring creative? Marketing people who want you to buy the coloring books say yes. Marketing people also once told us cigarettes were OK. Of course this is rich coming from someone who works in marketing but I focus on making connections with people and those connections might motivate someone to join us. I try to be as honest as possible. No sense forming a relationship with someone if they aren’t really right.

Anyway, back to the coloring. I take comfort in the controlled creativity. There are lines but I can choose the colors I want. It’s not unlike my wardrobe project where I have some options but not too many. If there is one thing this project has shown me is that I can’t handle complete freedom. I like parameters. Does this mean I am not creative? Music has rules. Architecture has rules. Are these not creative?

It has occurred to me that, in my post-coloring calmness, this is an introductory class which likely does not demand a great work, does not provide enough time for a great work, and therefore I should not strive to produce such a work. However, it is my curse that I cannot simply slap something together and put my name on it and have other people witness it. The requirements ask if the project is graduate level work. Does that take into account the caliber of work produced by people my age?

I should be solid. My domain is clear. It is my soul but life and mental state are distracting me. I have also neglected my talent. I cannot simply sit down and play after 10 years. It is the ten-year rule in reverse. My fingers would need time to repair their familiarity with the keyboard. I am also not inclined to be so intimate.

So I am resigned to cobble together other things; to make do. Passion is lacking. Rather circular no? Passion feeds creativity. I cannot be creative without it. Yet I am trying to be creative first, and then muster up passion, which is a necessity. I am lame, in that my creativity is crippled and I am trying to compensate in other ways.


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