Crisis and Creativity
Spring has been a buzz of activity. I find this season tends to bring waves of urgency, kind of like a twister of wind. You have a sense of what is to come but until the force makes land fall, you don’t really know what you are in for. That is the best way to describe what has hit our home in recent months.
It is the usual pace of life in a community which, when compared to a year of travel seems like an overwhelming workload of details. Appointments with doctors, specialists and tutors meant to keep our bodies and minds healthy and strong. A graduation from high school comes with a myriad of once in a lifetime plans and celebrations. House maintenance, spring cleaning and spilling out into the yard to start living outdoors again are a mixture of fun and responsibility.
All of this might have been manageable, as our regular life back home unfolds if it were not for the hospitals. We have a neat pile of parking receipts from various trips to hospitals to visit parents and grandparents, where we sat beside feeling worried and trying not to show it. This sandwich between caring for our aging parents and our children still living at home is a common tug of war at our emotional reserves. Then, sometimes life throws a curve ball.
A cancer scare and subsequent day-surgery which was supposed to mean a half day in hospital for my husband, turned into an infection, days in the emergency room and admittance for a week long hospital stay. This crisis hit home; not parents or grand parents but one of us. Our mortality came into clear view. Emotions were raw and very near the surface for weeks. The thought of saying goodbye to the ones you love is almost harder than the treatment protocol itself. Thank goodness for regular physicals, screening and early detection; the cancer scare turned out to be just that – a scare. The specialists all agreed this might have been a different story with a different ending, if luck had gone the other way.
In the midst of all that tension and stress, we managed a few creative projects. For us, it is as important as breathing. We can’t forgo these respites from normal life. In fact, the process of using my hands to make things is one of the things I missed the most while we traveled. We made a raised bed planter box, placed below the dining room window facing South. Then we fashioned a frame to make a thick paper from a couple of years of shredded receipts and bills. There were scooters to rebuild, writing, knitting and a new DailyCreatives.com website to design. Not to mention the ongoing planning and rollout of the first CreaSpaTreat event in September of 2019.
The new Daily Creatives website represents a more strategic view of what we are trying to build. Because the idea and activities associated to creativity mean something different to everyone, capturing all that diversity in one place is tricky! Sometimes I feel that in order to honour the idea of creativity in all it’s forms, is to leave out the essence of what is important. This dichotomy is similar to the notion of trying to please everyone means nobody is pleased.
I’ve come to realize it is important to place a marker in the midst of too much choice, or create a definition of what creativity really means for me, in my every day life. Otherwise, I feel like I am living in the TV show called Seinfeld, described to be a show about nothing. It was really about the everyday life of the idiosyncratic characters and that was enough to be funny. But that kind of meandering humor was good for the 1990’s, I’m not sure it is a good platform for a social movement today.
Focusing on a niche seems to be the common wisdom of this time in history. The smallest viable audience is another way I have heard it explained. While that may be good business advice, I am mindful that at the heart of it all, we are people with unique characteristics not a generic textbook business case. To that end, we tried to make the updated Daily Creatives website feel organic, hopefully communicating a personal story, which shows high and low periods of creative practice.
The redesign of the Daily Creatives website represents a significant creative endeavour for us this Spring. Mostly the credit goes to my husband who either managed or personally learned how to complete all the technical tasks. All I really had to do was write words and provide photographs. Many years ago, my great uncle wondered what creative project my husband would do together. He thought that we would make a good team. Along with raising two children to become the interesting young adults they are today, we are developing a creative practice together that will help us transition into empty-nesters.
Honouring everything that this Spring has taught us has also been important. By experiencing the wake up calls, loud and clear, my husband and I treasure our time together even more than we did before. It is a good feeling to be mostly in sync with your life partner! I don’t say always, because that is not true. We disagree, debate and sometimes even agree to disagree, but that is fine with both of us. We are on track together, moving ahead in the same general direction, creatively.