For the last few years, I’ve been furiously creating. Creating recipes, business plans, marketing material and campaigns, writing constantly, crafting music and poetry and nurturing a long play RPG for my sons and our friends. Every piece of my life’s been touched by the act of creating lately, mostly in parallel.
I surprised myself the other day as I marveled that none of these creative projects have careened into the others thus bringing one of them to an end in some way. In my younger days, they always seemed to do just that. One project would yield its existence to the more important, shiny, weighty or prescient. This collision always ended in one or all being obliterated. And still, even if pleased by either the stronger project or the surprising new fusion, I was often left melancholy over what had been lost.
But as I approach another decade spinning with the planet, I’m struck by my ability to compartmentalize my energies. I don’t know why really. Not sure I care, but as I age, I’m able to organize the spasms of creativity that every one of my amazing partners nurture and encourage. Even with several plates spinning I’m more balanced as I run downhill. Maybe the creative process is like running downhill. Creativity, like gravity, tends to make what it’s acting on gather speed. At least up to a point. We’ll call it terminal creativity. I hear the voice of my experience saying, “embrace that speed, run faster and faster. . . but keep your feet under you.” Maybe this is what I want to share. Keep your feet under you and wrap yourself in maybe. Maybe just for you.
Maybe be more willing to let much of what you conceive stay pencil sketched on the drafting board or in pieces on the cutting room floor. Maybe be wildly selective about what you choose to fan the flames on. Maybe that’s what’s necessary to keep you sane or to allow any creations to be nurtured into anything meaningful.
I wrap myself in my own maybe too. I think that actually maybe nothing created can ever be unmade and that maybe someday, I’ll stroll around my own cutting room, wistfully picking up scraps from the floor and realize that what I’ve really done is given myself a life’s worth of secret creations I love . . . maybe just for me.