well… this is my first blog, my first attempt at unlocking a door that I have long kept closed. hopefully the place to which it leads has not changed too much, but I can’t help but feel that it has… along with me, this space must have grown and changed, adopted new features.beyond this door is my creativity. I am beginning a journey back to finding it, regaining some of its comfort and solace. When I picture this space in my mind’s eye, it looks like something that only a child could imagine: I see lush green hills, hanging vines, tall trees with great flowering branches that reach down low as if they are trying to get back into the earth, complete the circle of life. I see sparkling clear blue lakes and waterfalls, majestic mountains, and plants of such vivid colour, with leaves the size of hammocks and flowers the size of faces. I see great puffy clouds in the blue blue sky. There are people there, too, of all sizes and shapes and colours, and they are doing all sorts of wonderful things – picnics on the shores of the lakes, flying kites, laughing, reading, rolling down hills.
There is also a beautiful darkness in this space, a lovely and rich but definitely dark darkness. It pulsates beneath the surface, reminding me of its existence every so often, just so I won’t forget. It does no good to ignore it; it never goes away, just rests dormant for a while.
Why have I kept the door to this complex and fascinating place closed for so long?
good question. I guess I have abandoned my creativity in order to get through the everyday mundanity that so often stifles it. I have focussed on other things, and not given it as much value in my life as it deserves and demands.
When I remember my childhood, it was always full of stories: stories of huge scale, grand imagination. Growing up as an only child, I spent a lot of time by myself, and learned to entertain myself quite easily with the characters from books and my own imagination. Soon these stories were accompanied by pictures, drawn and painted by my own small hands. Soon after, these stories with pictures had voices, songs and music. Everything had a personality – colours, numbers, trees, pencils – and everything had a story. 7 was always angry with 4 for not standing up for himself. 6 was a bit shady. 1 and 2 were the proud parents of a huge extended family. Blue was always happy in my world; purple was quite glum. Red was angry all the time, and green was kind of shy.
As I got older, these stories passed away, faded. Numbers became my enemy. Colours were just colours. Trees still seemed to whisper, but not as loudly as before. Music became my best creative outlet, but yet I was frustrated with my lack of ability to design new music. I was very capable of interpreting music written by others, and my technical ability was great – I was even able to give a piece a great deal of emotion. But I just couldn’t seem to CREATE any of my own. and so, the creative process stalled out. I still loved to play, but my obsession with perfection became too much of a burden, and so I just stopped.
After several years, I have recently begun to play piano again. I’m not as good as I used to be, of course, but my fingers are slowly becoming more nimble, more flexible, and finding their way over the keys again, in their old familiar way. It pleases me more than I imagined to hear music that I am making with my own hands, even if it is written by someone else. I didn’t realize how much I had missed it. It made me realize how much else I have missed.
I think what I was really missing was words. Words are my first love. Now it’s time to get back to basics and exercise my imagination again.
I do not hope to present perfect work here. I do not expect that anyone will ever read what I write here. I will write for myself, only. I will write to regain my childhood imagination, my unique way of looking at the world, through Jennifer-glasses.
I am excited to see where it will lead.