Thursday, September 27, 2012

Friend with (Creative) Benefits

So many of my friends are creative types.   Take my friend Cindy – the decorating ideas she comes up with are nothing short of genius!  It’s as if she walks into a room and ideas just start flowing.  One day I asked her about some of the inspiring things she’s done in her own house and she said that most people would be too scared to do them in their homes because it’s too permanent.  This is a sentiment I highly disagree with on many levels – one, NOTHING is permanent - everything changes.  Anyone with children knows the furniture doesn’t last more than a couple of years – unless it’s a) really ugly or b) covered with plastic (a practice I simply cannot fathom). Two, I realize people are paying a lot of money to decorate, but on the other hand, why not do what really makes you happy in your own space?  Why take it so seriously?  I think decor should be fun and make you look around your house and feel happy, peaceful, joyful.  (Which reminds me of the time I glued farm animals to the top of my television.   Oddly enough, many people thought I was crazy but I really liked it, thought it added a whimsical touch of color.  I guess that might be where the inspiration came for these farm animals which dot the walls and cranny's of the room with the tv in it - I think I may be the only person who likes them in there, but so what?!)  I realize that farm animals are not for everyone, but who are you decorating your house for if not yourself – you spend the most time there.  But I'm totally digressing - back to my creative friends...In addition to her decorating skills, Cindy also makes the most amazing stained glass art – very original.   Hope to have some of it my house someday really soon.

I have two friends who are writers.  Stephanie writes poetry.  She’d love to do it for a living, but living on words – even beautiful ones, is a sparse diet.  She doesn’t let that daunt her – she and several other artists have created a forum and share their creations with the community, and she’s part of a writing group that meets regularly.  Tamara just finished a novel, has written several screenplays, and also sculpts.  Karen and Diane are both quilters extraordinaire.  Maria paints and makes goat soap; my other buddy, Hartley also makes soap and does hypnosis.  My lifelong friend, Theresa, used to cut my hair before she actually went to school and learned how to do it (and it looked good, I might add).  Oh my gosh – there’s Amy - a wickedly creative teacher…Judy is a gourmet cook…my husband and son are two of the most out-of-the-box thinkers I’ve ever encountered...I could go on, but lists are boring so I’ll stop – you get the idea.
Being friends with all these people is quite beneficial.  Like a sucker-fish on a shark I feed off of each and every one of them.  They inspire me…push me…their ideas give me ideas.  It’s exhilarating to be around them.   But looking at my (could be longer) list, I realize something.   It’s not that I only surround myself with creative-types - in fact, some of these people might dare to argue that they aren’t creative types at all.  But we all do have something in common – in some way, we’ve given ourselves over to our creativity.   Granted, some of us are just standing on the precipice and dip our toes in occasionally while others have completely opened our veins to the creative juices, but I’ll make no value statements here about that.  It's immaterial, really. 

It makes me feel so lucky to live in modern times when we have time to pursue these passions and explore our creativity.  Thinking about that, however, I suppose that many people throughout history have used all the creativity  they had just to survive!   I guess we are just lucky that we are able to be creative as a species.   There are so many ways for it to manifest itself we probably don't even recognize it sometimes.   And it's probably a use it or lose it kind of deal, so we should all work our creative bone every chance we get.   Oh, and it doesn't hurt to hang out with wildly creative people, either.