I have been so inspired lately by a book I am listening to on Audible during those precious 30 minutes a day I spend on the elliptical or treadmill early in the morning at the gym. Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear, by Elizabeth Gilbert (author of Eat, Pray, Love) was recommended to me by Dawn, a blogging friend who shares her own beautiful creativity at Petals. Paper, Simple Thymes. I am so glad I took her advice and got it! And it is such a joy to listen to it read by author Elizabeth herself with all the passion and inflection she adds throughout.
I want to share an excerpt with you that hit a chord with me the other morning (and there are many of these!) During this excerpt, Gilbert is sharing about a time she interviewed musician Tom Waits for GQ Magazine. I loved everything he had to say to her and she wrote about him, but I want to share this little piece in particular:
“Over the years, Tom Waits finally found his sense of permission to deal with his creativity more lightly – without so much drama – without so much fear. A lot of this lightness, Waits said, came from watching his children grow up and seeing their total freedom of creative expression. He noticed that his children felt fully entitled to make up songs all the time, and when they were done with them, they would toss them out ‘like little origami things, or paper airplanes.’ Then they would sing the next song that came through the channel. They never seemed to worry that the flow of ideas would dry up. They never stressed about their creativity, and they never competed against themselves; they merely lived within their inspiration, comfortable and unquestioning.
Waits had once been the opposite of that as a creator. He told me that he’d struggled deeply with his creativity in his youth because – like many serious young men – he wanted his work to be better than other people’s work. He wanted to be complex and intense. There was anguish, there was torment, there was drinking, there were dark nights of the soul. He was lost in the cult of artistic suffering, but he called that suffering by another name: dedication.
But through watching his children create so freely, Waits had an epiphany: it wasn’t actually that big a deal. He told me, ‘I realized as a songwriter, the only thing I really do is make jewelry for the inside of other people’s minds.’ Music is nothing more than decoration for the imagination. That’s all it is. That realization, Waits said, seemed to open things up for him. Songwriting became less painful after that.
Intracranial jewelry-making! What a cool job!”
Does that strike you like it does me? So with this newfound creative freedom floating through my cranium, I splashed some paint around this weekend that resulted in this. Here is some of my “intracranial jewelry” to share.
Cheers & Hugs,