Wednesday, October 6, 2010

I Need Time with My Creative Outlets

Please note that the following has absolutely nothing to do with pirates, except perhaps on a (very) peripheral level. Nope, once again I am talking about my need for creative expression, the occasional change, and something really awesome that I experienced this past weekend in Lousiville, KY. Yes, that's right. I said Kentucky.

I will always be the first one to admit that I look down upon land locked states. I think having the good fortune - though I didn't realize it at the time - to grow up on the coast of Virginia, mere minutes from both the Chesapeake Bay and the Atlantic Ocean, has seriously jaded my view that life is possible anywhere else. It is, of course, but why would anyone want to do it? As One Ring and I unpacked in the B&B we had booked for the weekend, I noticed instructions hanging on the wall. Instructions, I might add, for what to do in case the tornado alarm sounded. My comment to One Ring, if I recall correctly, was something to the effect of, "Why would anyone live in a place where tornados can pop up without warning?"

By the way, going to Louisville was her idea. Not that I complained. I was happy to get away, and, as it turned out, the city redeemed itself in my eyes with a show of cultural and artistic expression that is seriously lacking in many places I've called home (I'm talking to you Chelyabinsk!). I just found this website about that Russian city, and now I have even more reason to worry!

So, here's what I'm talking about in terms of needing some more time being creative:

Lately, my clay work and guitar playing has been limited. Some of this has been caused by other commitments, a bit by wanting to spend more time with One Ring (I used to practice when her brother came over), and mostly by my being exhausted when I get home from work and getting hooked on City of Heroes. So, even though I'm happy with my first attempt at a clay pumpkin (see previous post), I haven't been able to make any more. Bead making is not happening, and two of my clay classes were cancelled due to lack of interest. So there you go. There's also a minor issue with my dog going crazy when light hits my tools and reflects onto the ceilings and walls, but I won't go into that.

What made this trip to Louisville so awesome was that I was able to fulfill a lifelong dream. When I was a child, my family went to Jamestown, VA to see the first permanent colonial settlement. There we were able to watch craftspeople blow glass and create wine glasses, decanters, plats, cups, and so on. I actually took One Ring there while we were dating (or soon after we were married - sorry, dear, I can't remember!) and bought a couple of wine glasses. By then I was hooked. I wanted to try my hand at blowing glass.

One Ring knew of my dream, although I don't think I mentioned it for years. She set up a glass blowing class for me at Glassworks, in Louisville's museum district. To say I enjoyed my brief time there would be an absolute understatement. Although I didn't do too much of the blowing process (a modest couple of puffs down a long pole was pretty much the extent of my labor) due to the liability of having noobs stumbling around a 2200 degree furnace, I was still thrilled at being able to participate in the process. As the website shows, my project was creating a pumpkin. I wanted to do one with purple specs on an orange background. For reasons unknown to me, it turned out exactly opposite. But I love the finished project anyway!

I can easily see how people can become addicted to this. The woman who took my money (twice - I bought a t-shirt the next day when we returned to get the pumpkin) said that they get return customers all the time.

This experience brought to mind just how much I enjoy the creative process, evein if I'm only watching works of art coming into existence. It also made me aware of how lax I have become in working on my own projects. Essentially, I've allowed myself to become a lump, surfing the web during boring moments at work (like now), and doing next to nothing when I return home. But with my favorite time of the year now in place, and all sorts of ideas roaring about between my ears, the main message is that I need to shift into overdrive and get some stuff done! So, clay tonight while One Ring is at a meeting. Then guitar practice, since I'm having a guitar built by my instructor. It would be seriously lame if I pour all kinds of money into the guitar, only to find that I can't play well because I haven't done anything with the one I already own!

So the motivation is in place. Now I just need to translate it into action!

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