Musings on Rain and Creativity at the End of the Year

In a land of forever drought it has been raining and raining and raining. All of the major highways through the Sierras are closed today. So much for our planned trip up to Tahoe. We might still get up there later in the week, or maybe for the weekend. Traffic will be hellish, especially in the car with a driver who has no patience for traffic. Intervention will be needed.

In the meantime I am happy to be home with my children and savor them before they fly off to distant parts where they work and go to school.

I received an easel for Christmas this year. I haven’t drawn or painted outdoors for almost 40 years. The first pieces will be in charcoal and colored pencil. I don’t want to worry about water and mixing paints, or cleaning brushes. The plan also includes some live figure drawing. I’ve found a studio in town that has Monday evening sessions. These aren’t classes but just sessions with live models.

A source for inspiration has been other artists I know, or follow. My daughter’s boyfriend is an exceptional young artist. I expect him to be in galleries and museums sometime in the not so distant future. He still has that wonderful sense of creativity and drive that is so wonderful and pure. Nobody has beaten it out of him yet.

Yes, the world we live in is geared to beat creativity out of people so that they just turn into drones doing the bidding of the uncreative and uninspired. This isn’t just something that happens with artistic pursuits. It happens in every field of work, be it art, science, government (especially government) or any pursuit. That joy of discovery and newness is routinely killed. It isn’t just industry. Old guard art groups regularly snuff out young and emerging artists like chain smokers snub out cigarettes. They don’t think twice about throwing talent into the trash and blowing out their ugly smoke as they savor the death of creativity.

On the other hand, no matter how young or old we are, we can fight it. We can get our spark back. Let them throw water on us, but they can’t completely douse the flame. We can, and must make 2022 a year of creativity, in anything we do. We must get out of our comfort levels and stop caring about what others think of our creative joy. Do it on your own. Nobody has to pay you for it. It doesn’t have to be a job.

There is an old saying, “do what you want and the money will follow.” Maybe it isn’t just money. Maybe the payment will be in mental health benefits, or the joy you bring to others. Or, maybe, just maybe the money will follow. You never know.

The answer will always be no if you don’t ask or try.

My creative to do list is long, but this year I won’t ignore it.

The past few year have been weird and difficult for all of us. Just keeping connections, and reconnecting with others has been hard.

Let’s all turn the weird into weird and wonderful creativity. Let’s continue to do research, share, write, blog, discover, explore, and stay curious.

We will never go back to the way things were. That is the truth even if we don’t have a pandemic to deal with.

We will also succeed despite the politicians, religious leaders, conspiracy wack jobs, and mean stupid people out there. Yes, there will always be people who act like fools, ghouls, and disgusting goblins. There will always be way too many people who gladly embrace ignorance because it is the easiest route to take, and it is much easier to be a follower.

I always tried to teach my children to never be followers. Even if you aren’t a leader, don’t be a follower. Think for yourself. Guess what? It worked. I am so proud of them.

My entire household, aside from me and the cats, has been asleep. The rain makes everyone want to stay in bed. I hear a movement from upstairs every now and then, but it will be quiet for a few more house. It will be enough time for me to muse on what I need to do.

Be safe. Wear a mask when needed. Get your shots. Hug your dogs and cats. Talk with your kids – not TO them but with them. Listen to them. Don’t shoot down dreams. Be kind. Don’t be a dick. Check in on those who are elderly, might need extra help, or are alone. And kiss a Vampire (you’ll thank me for it later)

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

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