A sound that speaks of acceptance, success, and lifts a smile across determined cheeks.
More clicks trumpet growth as the tower of color grows.
“One, two, three, four, five.”
Hesitation. What color next? Repeat the pattern? Mix it up? A finger taps lips in thought as eyes shine.
It’s just right and belongs above yellow. Plastic screams as hands stir the bin of blocks. It’s a symphony of possibility that makes an adult’s ears bleed, as a child listens to undertones and knows plastic grows.
Was it a shriek of delight or fear? She didn’t know as it forced its way from her chest to the cavity of her mouth. A little heart pounded the rhythm of it as it bubbled into an audible note.
“Stay back. You can’t catch me.”
The floor moved. The carpet rippling right before her eyes. Its colours swimming and shifted, a living thing.
“Hurry!” the others yelled at her as they bounced up and down in excitement. “Its rising!”
She stood on her pillow, feet sinking into its marshmallow softness. She danced like a cat.
Her body moved before her mind, responding to the call. The marshmallow softness was her downfall. Toes slid, the truth of its betrayal apparent in a second that stretched to an hour in a single heartbeat.
White sock stained brown on the bottom touched carpet. Hands held before her broke the fall, and she giggled with gleeful horror as the waves of colour splashed.
“She’s done for.” The pain in Carter’s voice rocked her back to reality. His terror was exaggerated, but real.
Another scream bubbled out as her ankles were grabbed and the friction of carpet on prone stomach threatened a burn.
“I’ve EATEN you May!”
The blanket muffled the voice, rainbow patterns shifting with movement.
“You have to join me.” “I know, I know.”
Her breathless reply held only a mite of disapproval. Her chest still rose and fell with heavy adrenaline induced gasps. She grasped the offered corner of his blanket, eyes sparking.
“The worm GROWS!”
They yell the words together. The trumpet of doom.
It’s thrilling, letting yourself get swept away in the moment of creation… Then someone interrupts you. A child tugs on your sleeve, or the phone rings. A spouse calls from down the hall, “Are you done yet?”
Do you shake off that tug on your arm, mute the phone, and ignore the calling? Can you? Should you?
Creativity is precious, we should cultivate and protect it. Having a space for this is ideal, having a time when distractions and interruptions are at a minimum is important. But there are people in our lives that can’t, and shouldn’t be ignored. It’s a balancing act.
The people in our lives are important. They support our creativity in ways we often take for granted. We shouldn’t ignore them. Not only shouldn’t we ignore them, but they are a pivotal part of our creation process.
In many cases they are directly, or indirectly, our inspiration. We get many of our ideas from watching them, talking with them, living with them, and all the ups and downs that go with that.
As a mother and wife, I sacrifice my creative life to care for and nurture my family. I have obligations, expectations and jobs I can NOT ignore. Families need attention, children need nurturing. But is it ever okay to say, “No, not right now, I need this time?”
Yes. Sometimes it’s healthy, and even important, to set boundaries around our creative endeavors. They are a part of us. When humans walk in their creative abilities, positivity flows out into the world. Finding the right place and time for that pulling away is the hard part, and the key to a thriving creative life amid people.
When I first became a mother, my kids became my entire world. But I let go of something that I never should have lost. My creativity. I stopped drawing, except doodles for the kids to color. I stopped learning and pushing myself artistically. I even stop writing, only picking it up once or twice a year when a fleeting spark touched my life. Because I let this part of me go, my soul suffered.
I didn’t know how to balance my creativity around the people important to me. But now that I have found my creative spark again, it’s a learning process. Like learning to juggle. But it’s one of the most important lessons of my life.
Do not lessen your light in this world by letting God given trats or abilities die. Instead, seek to learn how to incorporate new people, places, and responsibilities into your creativity.
Who are the people in your daily life that inspire you? Who are the ones that test you? Who adds flavor to your hours?
Cherish them, friends, family, and prickly people alike. I look forward to seeing them represented in your creative works.