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January 28, 2015: The Writing Life: The Drive to Create

Cold yesterday. Zero degrees. Today, -10 degree. Left my spiral bound notebook in the car last night. Pete brought it back in. Didn’t wait for it to warm up, nor did I begin writing in a different notebook. The pages held the cold. In seconds the back of my hand and my little finger were cold. I lifted them off the page every few seconds and shook them, in order to warm them up.

Had to immediately get to work. Am now working. This business with the notebook and a few other things have gotten me to thinking about the urge to create. It seems as though when I am busy and can’t create, that I will think about creating.

I don’t know what it is that prompts people to create; that is, if it is related to environmental or genetically related determinants. It probably has genetic origins and circumstance brings it out in people.

My mother has always had the drive to create. And at age 86 she’s fighting my sister tooth and nail, this year she very much wants (again) to put out another calendar containing her photographs. They’re actually snapshots taken with a point and shoot, but nevertheless, extremely good snapshots. She’s older, and being older, even more of a non-linear thinker than previously. So putting out a yearly calendar has become a long drawn out and expensive process. She goes through a lot of printing paper, trying this and trying that out. My sister, who is both a full time teacher and my mother’s caretaker, doesn’t have the time to deal with what, year by year, has become an increasingly more time consuming endeavor.

My hands are still cold. I am my mother’s daughter. At least as far as artistic drive goes, we are very much alike. It’s like someone took a pitcher, opened my mother’s skull, scooped out the DNA, opened up my skull, and poured in the DNA.

A case in point. Pete and I had a very busy weekend – there was a lot of socializing going on. On Friday, during writer’s group, I wrote the first of what would become several chicken poems. Then, over the next few days I wrote three more. Then, after writing the first draft of this dispatch, I wrote another. I have two more in mind.

I didn’t have a lot of time this weekend. In fact, I stayed up late revising the poultry reading poems. My initial idea provided me with momentum – this was that I could write about chickens, moving into the realm of metaphor and then pushing further on the realm of metaphor. Chickens and fear, as in Being Chicken. That’s where I’m now headed. I could come up with an entire book and call it Chicken. I could maybe talk with Betty, my hair dresser, and together we could put together a slideshow/reading/art show. I am going to continue with this line of thought – this is a project that I’ll work on in between other things. And there are other things that I must finish up. Today I’m going to work on my Montana Tech job application. And if time permits, on my If Wishes were Horses proposal. Pete has the manuscript, it will most likely be a while before he gets to this.

It’s cold, well below my cutoff point for riding horses. This is the way it should be. Pete and I will soon be making our second agility video. The urge to create – this is a hunger that’s only satiated during the act of creating. I would like to think that this is a way of feeding the soul.

Next: 29. 1/29/15: Alektophobia

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