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Wednesday, July 3, 2013

A brief note about friends


I'm not talking about the 'friends' you have on Facebook. You know, the ones you've never met but still somehow value their 'likes'.

I've had a lot of friends over the years. Lucky to say a couple of them are still around from elementary school (I'm now in my 30's.)

It's hard to say how one keeps friends. I mean, real friends. The kind that will not only be around when things are going well, but will get in your face to keep you from screwing up, and will stick around when you do screw up.

The ones that make fun of you because they know exactly how to make fun of you. But will still prop you up when you need it.

It's just something that clicks. You understand your friends. Your point of view is similar, even if you're really nothing alike.

I recently (in the last few years) lost a couple of good friends. No, they didn't pass away. They sort of... disappeared. In one case, I know what happened. Some disagreements that just didn't get resolved. Probably my fault for not trying harder.

But another, well. A real shame. This particular person helped get me through college when I wanted to give it up. Our artistic mash-ups were interesting and fun. Few others have sparked that level of creative synergy (synergy = a catch phrase I hoped never to use, but it describes the collaboration well).

Perhaps this is the way it's supposed to be, some friends are just supposed to come into your life when you need something they have to offer, or you have something to offer them. Or both. It's a transaction of experiences.

Hopefully I can catch up with some friends that have faded into the background, and I hope to meet some new ones that will last into the future.

Until then, I'll take it for what it is, and what it was, and what it can be.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

It lives inside you. Listen to it.

It lives inside you. You may not even notice it. But it's a beast that needs to be fed often, or it gets restless.

It may suddenly awake at the most unexpected times. When you're standing in the shower on a Monday morning. Standing in line at a bank cashing a cheque. When you're getting ready to go to bed, and there's an important meeting the next day.

It doesn't care about your schedule. It doesn't care about your normal thoughts, about bills, mortgages, and what to have for dinner that evening. It will cry out until you satisfy it, or ignore it long enough. For some, it will scream louder than for others, making it impossible to ignore. Other times, you desperately try to prod it awake, but it can't be bothered with you. You don't control it. It controls you.

It's your creative spirit.

It expresses itself in many ways. I've found ways to tame it over the years. Now, I carry a camera, which becomes the eyes of my creative spirit. It sees things I don't.

Your creative spirit may prefer you to sing, or dance, or act, or cook, or write. Sometimes it will just put a pen in your hand, or a keyboard in front of you, and tell you to begin. Like on a Sunday morning at 9 a.m. Just like right now.

Your creative spirit is very needy. It can take you away from responsibilities, and others may not fully understand it and think you're wasting time. But that shouldn't be a reason to ignore it.

Your creative spirit ultimately wants you to be happy. It wants to be your friend. But it will make you work hard for that friendship. Sometimes, you'll hate your creative spirit. It will frustrate you, it will point out your mistakes, but it will make you a better person. Just like a good friend should.

It will be like a drug that hooks you. But swallow it down. It will fill you with warmth on days that are bleak, cold and lonely. It's a welcome addiction, and there's no side effects.

Creativity is what makes us who we are. It is the beauty between the cracks. It is the romance in a sad movie. It is the diamond in the rough. Without creativity, we wouldn't have passion. Without passion, we'd have no soul. Without a soul, we wouldn't be human.

If you don't think you're creative, think again. Every child is born with wonder and curiosity. Find that wonder again. You don't have to draw, or write, or sing to express it. Just let it in, open your mind, and it will change how you see things. And how you see yourself.

Find your creativity. It's not dead, it's only sleeping.

Let it awaken.