The Year Of Living Differently-Creative Edition

flickr creative commons karabrugman

My son, my eldest son, is 16 and he's very taken with guitar, singing, rock and roll, and the like. Which of course seems entirely normal to me.

He came to me today with a worry that I immediately recognized-he said, "I had all these ideas for songs last week, but I don't right now and that seems bad."

Man, do I recognize that feeling. Sometimes the muse just isn't interested in hanging out and some days she (it? they? he?) is practically vomiting ideas into your head. And it's not a consistent situation and you can do everything in the book (daily writing practice, same meals, vitamins, bourbon-and my lord the bourbon) to coax that saucy minx back into your life, and yet the muse is rebellious and rejects you. By you I mean me, of course.

I did tell my eldest he should engage in daily practice-write songs even if they suck! And he was like DUH I DO THAT. And I said...well of course you do.

I don't know what is worse-the moment when you are in a staff meeting and you have a million ideas THAT JUST MUST BE WRITTEN DOWN or when you are sitting at your home office (which for me is the love-seat and my laptop) and you are have hours of time with which to indulge and zip, nada, nil, zilch.

Both hurt.

It's a process, I remind myself. Just like moving across the country and getting used to being in a new place.

Moving is an inherently creative and destructive act. It's the Alpha and Omega all wrapped up into a U Haul trailer and it's exceptionally hard on the old psyche.

For two months now, we've lived in Ashland and not Austin (where we spent 18 years enjoying tacos, hot weather, mosquitos, and extremely bizarre politics) and I'm experiencing things.


Things like...dreams, finally, about tacos. Things like, taking non-traditional roads to get home (and if you've moved you know what I mean-you have all the very straightforward routes but then you learn how to cut through neighborhoods, you get lost and then you don't get lost and it's something that is an immersive kind of experience but all of a sudden it's "there" in your head and you know it), things like realizing you think about the people of Austin but have somehow built an absolute block in your mind about places and surely that's a kind of defense mechanism, things like finally going shopping for clothes and realizing it's a whole new world of snow and wet weather and it's just not quite yet home and won't be for awhile.

It's odd.

It's creative though, in it's way.

We went to First Friday last night, where art galleries open up late and you stroll along and well, look at art. I didn't feel well, so I left early and walked home (because things are small here and the distance is small) and cut across the railroad tracks and it was cool and felt like fall used to feel when I lived in Seattle, and the light was not quite like Seattle as the sun was setting (but certainly it wasn't like Austin) and I looked ahead at the mountains and just thought...

I live here now.

And it felt so very odd.

Today we cleaned the house, this 3rd of September now just two full months since we arrived, and we dug up the backyard garden and went to the Ashland Greenhouse (a ways up a hill and out of town and is a huge plot of land with every plant imaginable) and looked at things to plant. We passed the neighborhood cows (and they are such lovely cows-with one that is practically BLUE in tone and the farmers there were watering their garden).

The cows were hanging out and watching in what seemed to be a very sweet and gentle way, and I realized that I was most definitely living differently.

Most definitely. Creatively. And lovingly.

And it's good.