Saturday, August 18, 2007

I Made This

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about creativity, about writing mostly, but mixed in there is photography, sculpting and some sketching. But mostly writing. I’ve been reading The Polysyllabic Spree by Nick Hornby, one of my favorite writers. This book is a collection of the column he does on reading for Believer magazine, so he’s one of my favorite readers as well. He puts me in the mind to read and he reveres reading as it should be. It’s good to know that there are others out there who get the same rush from a good book, from just the idea of starting a new book, that I get. Recently, too, I’ve spoken with a few people close to me who have encouraged me to write. Not just to write, though, but to write and publish. This is a very nice sentiment and I’m truly touched by their confidence in me. However, it resonates as well as if they were encouraging me to jump off the Sterick Building and fly. Would I love to fly? Of course I would, who wouldn’t? But the jumping is the simple part, anyone can jump. The flying? Well, that’s a whole different matter. Not many have pulled that off.

With my thoughts of creativity, I naturally have thought of my kids, because they always seem to creep up into my thoughts, even when all I want to do is think about myself for just a minute. It’s like when I was growing up and in Catholic school and we were taught that God thinks of us constantly and that if He ever stopped thinking of us then we would cease to exist. That’s a lot to think about and a lot of pressure. What’s to keep God, and all that’s on His plate with making the weather and creating fish and seeing to it that all those R&B singers win Grammys, thinking of a scrawny 10-year-old boy? So I taught myself to juggle and painted pictures and I did a little soft shoe to keep him entertained, to keep me in his mind so I wouldn’t disappear. I became creative. Much like this, my kids do things to stay in my mind. They leave half-eaten food laying around for me to find - I always think of them when I see this. They smear toothpaste around various surfaces of the bathroom, they leave lights on, they yell. They yell a lot. So I never stop thinking of them, and I don’t possess enough faith to think that they would go away even if I did.

I want for my kids to be creative. I don’t necessarily need for them to make a living with their creativity, as far as being an artist or musician, though I do know that there is plenty of call for creativity in business, especially entrepreneurship. I would simply like for them to have the outlet of creating something, something they can take pride in and that will make them happy. A feeling that no one can take away from them.

I can only imagine what each of The Quartet’s talent would be, where their creativity would lie. C enjoys both drawing and writing, but is far too literal for a fine art gig. I see him maybe working for Lucasfilm or Pixar, some place where he’ll be called upon to make a character come to life through the magic of counting pixels and equalizing bandwidth, or however they do that stuff. JP will sing, act and dance. He’ll be on the stage, on the screen and, if it’s at all possible in the future, he will wow Tom Snyder on late night television. JP is our entertainer. S, if she ends up in the entertainment world, will be a studio chief or an agent. I suppose that’s creative. Perhaps her talent will be recognizing others’ talents and then exploiting them for financial gain. I’m cool with that. GK I’m not so sure about, she’s still awfully young and really short. I’d say maybe a model, but the idea of that makes my palms sweat, so we won’t even consider that just yet.

In re-reading what I’ve just written I see that I’ve blatantly paired the kids’ talents with possible careers when I said that all I wanted was for them to be happy doing whatever it is they’re good at. I suppose, deep down, I’m hoping that what makes them happy is making a lot of money with what their good at to spend on me. They’re more than welcome to spend it creatively, too. Shoes, a boat, Caribbean homes, stocks, another boat, trips to New York, whatever it takes to make them happy making me happy.

I come from an inspired family, whether it was drawing, painting, engineering or writing, and I feel that there is something in me waiting to be let out. And while writing this blog is a nice outlet, a release of steam like the valve on a pressure cooker, it’s not the full-on geyser of a novel, short story, the ol’ soft shoe or a painting. I suppose it will come to me one day. One day I’ll have the time to sit down and explore, perhaps I’ll discover it as my kids are realizing their own artistic expressions. It may be right here at this tiny desk, in front of this iBook G4 or, hopefully, on that 46-foot sloop S will buy for me with the sweat from some hungry, struggling actor.