What do you have in you?

An old friend reached out to me recently, and I'm fairly well hidden so that took some work and some luck. Maybe it's a thing these days, that when people get older they reach into the past, knowing the end is just over the next hilltop, or the hilltop after that. An email arrived, and the name seemed ever so slightly familiar. It had been twenty years.

We traded a few messages before fading out of each other's lives again, and in one of those emails I asked about her sculpting, because she'd always been so passionate about it. I was surprised when she said she'd given it up years ago, and instead started spending most of her spare time watching TV and surfing the internet. "I haven't done any art in years," she said.

It's a loss to the world when someone who's creative stops being creative. Saddens my heart. People who have music in them should sing, or play the trumpet, or bang on drums until the cops come banging on the door. People who want to dance should float and twirl through at least one room of their home, on a regular basis. People who want to write should write — about their lives and friends, about their ordinary and occasionally extraordinary days, about the wildest things in their memories or imaginations. Our passions make us who we are; if we abandon our passions we've lost a big part of ourselves.

Some wise old geezer said, 'Everyone has something worth sharing', but I'm not sure that's true. Many people are content to consume the creativity of others, and I'm not judging. There's nothing wrong with not being creatively inclined, and there are plenty of people who, let's always be honest, have nothing creative to contribute. If you've read this far, though, I don't think that's you.

If you have an urge to create or perform — if you imagine things others might not — your vision is uniquely yours. You're the only person in the universe who can create what you'd create. Nobody else can dance like you, draw your drawings, or tell your stories. If you once had a creative spark, you still have it. Doesn't matter whether it pays. Doesn't matter whether it's popular, appreciated, or ignored. What matters is, if you have something in you, let it out.


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