We’re in the middle of summer here on the third coast, soft sand, western winds and if you’re one of the beautiful young – beach life is the sweet life. Unfortunately, for those of us who are more seasoned and rounded, having Greenpeace try to push us back in the water when we’re sunning ourselves is unnerving. I’m under the AC, and my heart is on you.
Usually, when Rani turns the page over to me, there’s sass and snark and the snap of the cattle prod, but today? Today I write from that place called broken.
There are so many things, serious things, going on in my life that are probative on the creative process. I would give anything for encouragement. So, I am determining myself to give that very thing to you.
Over the next few weeks, I have a love letter for you, for you who are prohibited, blocked by apathy, anger or frustration, anxiety or fear, or perhaps the actions of other people who steal your focus, your joy and your inspiration. I hope that you read the following letters of love to you and that you are refreshed.
To the apathetic and the numb:
Dear one, I know the colorless gray of being lost in the blur of the mediocre and the mundane. The palette from which you painted your daydreams once vivid is now dull, muddied with responsibilities and rituals. Words that once breathed worlds now mechanical, turning and churning themselves in a repetitive loop. Your spark is now ash and you find yourself stifled by rules. By regulations. Creating is not beauty but burden, and so you stare at the blank page until you are distracted by something else that flits across your field of vision.
Perhaps you’ve bought into the lie that it doesn’t matter. That you can sink beneath the waves and disappear amongst the soulless masses and no one will suffer, but you dear one. You are suffering even as you deny it.
Apathy is a slow, slow creative death. Once we stop feeling, everything we are follows. And oblivion was never your intended destiny.
What would you give to feel the fire again? Whatever the deluge or the steady trickle of malaise that seeped into your creative core, stopping your flow, you must know this: You are in control. You can have the vibrance again.
Go back to the moments of joy, the moments when you felt alive, when your heart raced as you put pen to paper or keystroke to screen. Find that place and start again from there. Whatever the forces that stifled your creativity, dismiss them with a wave of your hand and allow the dream to bubble up until the fresh flow runs clear.
Writer, artist, creator of worlds and beauty isn’t “what you do.” It is who you are. So create, write and allow yourself to dream big. Embrace who you are, simply on the merit of who you are. Don’t worry about conforming, about playing by outside rules and regulations. Allow yourself the freedom of coloring outside the lines, of writing the words as they come, singing the song without auto tune or whatever fire within, let it spill out. Allow yourself the joy, the pain and all the amazing emotions that come with dreaming again.
Be who you are.
Tammy Boehm, Associate Editor