What do you have in you?

An old acquaintance 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. I read it, replied, and we traded a few messages before fading out of each other's lives again.

In one of my emails I asked about her sculpting, because she'd always been so passionate about it. 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 seemed pointless."

It's a loss to the world, I replied and meant it, when someone who's creative stops being creative. Our emailed conversation soon ended, probably because of that line, so I'll expound but only for you:

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 daily. People who want to write should write, whether it's about the wildest things in their memories or imaginations, or the blandest.

Our passions make us who we are. If we abandon our passions we've lost a big part of ourselves.

Many people are content to consume the creativity of others, making none of their own, and there's nothing wrong with not being creatively inclined. 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, well, you're the only person in the universe who can create what you'd create. Nobody else can draw your drawings, tell your stories, or chisel a block to sculpt what you'd sculpt.

If you once had a creative spark, you still have it. Doesn't matter if it's been decades. Doesn't matter whether it pays. Doesn't matter whether it's popular, appreciated, or ignored. Doesn't even matter whether it's good. What matters is, if you have something in you, let it out.

Republished 4/11/2024   

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