Proof of Creativity

Proof of Creativity

There’s something about creativity that begs to be seen. Show me your big idea, let me read your work, play me a song, hang up your art, watch that video project.

And then the masses, they can say, “how nice, how artistic, how talented” you are at that thing. Or, of course, there’s also the risk of a negative response, or even worse, no response or acknowledgement whatsoever, leaving that creativity vulnerable and alone in the world.

But one is never enough. You need a body and collection of work. It can never be stagnant or stale. You think you’re a writer? You call yourself a musician? You want to be a videographer? You consider yourself an actress? You say you’re an artist, a dancer, a dreamer, a poet? Prove it. 

Instead of the love and the passion and the drive that once compelled such creativity, you find hustle and exhaustion and burnout. A world that says, if you don’t keep churning out more you’ll be lost and left behind by all the ones ready to chew you up and take your spot.

It places all of your worth into what you produce or your results. You’re only as good as your latest project, and it better be something recent, otherwise, what have you been doing all this time?

And not only that, but where’s the self-promotion, the curated pieces, the shows and the gigs and the countless fans along the way?

For the average creative, or maybe just for me, it’s too much. The hustle and chase and sacrifice is too great. Maybe that means I’ll never make it or never have my name in lights. I’d like to hope instead that it means that my creativity and my sense of self will still stay intact.

May the thoughts and dreams that excite me stay possibilities and perhaps even one day realities, instead of drowned out by the noise and expectations to keep the same rapid pace of someone else. May my success be simply gratitude for the ability to create and connect with others, instead of an addiction to constant adoration and attention that can never quite be fulfilled. May I find moments for creativity and inspiration but not feel it is my only or greatest legacy.

That’s not to say that hard work, dedication, and motivation have no place here. All of these make their home here, just as I welcome space, grace, rest, and relationships. It’s about finding a balance and enjoyment instead of making chores out of the things I love.

So, for the last few months the blog has been quiet. This time I don’t think I’ll try to promise a revitalization coming soon but just let it happen as it happens. As for creative side projects, our music has been getting more of my energy and effort for the time being. At work, my writing and editing has continued. At home, we’ve chosen to listen to the need for rest when it comes, to celebrate weekend afternoons relaxing on the porch or rolling on the floor with our little one.

Does my work say something? Sure, sometimes. But more importantly, I’d like my life to speak louder. Not through fame or failures, but through my faith, family, and friendships.

 

Thursday Three

Thursday Three

It’s been real hot out there this week. (They say it’s always good to start any piece of writing with a definition from the dictionary, a famous quote some small talk about the weather.) But for real, this week has been in the high 90s around here, and I believe it even crossed over into triple digits a few times. Obviously, that means it’s the perfect time to…

1. Attend outdoor concerts. We were the lucky folks who managed to squeeze in two amazing concerts in the same week. Mumford and Sons and Brandi Carlile both played outstanding shows that made us come home feeling inspired and ready to work on music of our own.

Mumford and Sons | Moving Peaces

Brandi | Moving Peaces

2. Help friends move. I mean, I would have picked last week or maybe sometime in October if given the option, but glad to help regardless of the weather. I love having the opportunity to show up and support my friends, even if sadly, I won’t get to see them for awhile now. Transitions like these bring great opportunity for growth though, and I am really excited for whatever is next in their lives.

3. Replace your car. Please, just go now. That way, you can avoid the unfortunate situation that we are in. Our dear, 20-year-old Honda broke down on the highway (you guessed it, in the middle of one of those wicked hot days), so we sold it to the mechanic for a whopping $300. It’s been a bit of a rough week with one car while trying to find another one that fits our criteria (not because we’re fancy people, but because we are incredibly practical people).

Sad Honda | Moving Peaces

 

On a completely serious (and unrelated) note, I want to say that today, my heart is heavy. There are a lot of terrible things in the world and the shooting in Charleston, SC, is certainly among them. I don’t have all the words to say, other than to please pray for that community and continue to love your neighbors. 

Thursday Three

Thursday Three

This week’s three is coming in late due to an impromptu gig. I’ll leave you with the short and sweet.

1. Care for your community. The people on your street, the co-workers near your desk, the families at your church–whoever it may be, make sure to take time to care for them however you can.

Babysitting

2. Take the opportunities that come your way. There’s always a reason, excuse or insecurity to say no, but saying yes opens up a whole new set of possibilities. You never know.

Video Opp

3. Enjoy the day. Every day there is something–something bad, something good, something crazy. No matter what it is, try to take at least a minute and enjoy it.

Impromtu Gig

Countdown to Christmas: Music

Countdown to Christmas: Music

When you think about Christmas memories, what’s the first thing that comes to mind? Is it the tree or the lights? Setting up the nativity or going to the Christmas Eve service? Eating a favorite holiday dessert or avoiding the eggnog?

For me, I think the music is what always comes to mind first. Of course, with each year you make new Christmas memories so there’s never only one thing that covers all of Christmas, but the music plays a big part for me and it always has. Thank goodness I married a musician.

Our second Christmas as a married couple, we started singing and playing “O Holy Night” on Christmas day when we found ourselves with plenty of time following the busy month leading up to Christmas. We actually created two versions and had a really good time, but suddenly it was the day after Christmas and there was not a strong desire to listen to Christmas music anymore. A year later though, we decided to get a head start on our Christmas song and a new family tradition was born. We released both the song from Christmas of 2011 and the song for the Christmas of 2012 at the same time, along with our Christmas card.

We now have a total of four Christmas songs completely arranged, performed and recorded by me and the hubby (let’s be honest, he does most of the heavy lifting when it comes to these). If you’re feeling in the mood, go ahead and take a listen! Let me know what you think!

Hint: This year our song directly relates to our card…so get excited! We’ll release the latest Christmas song with the card next week!

Thursday Three

This week was a bit like the weather–back and forth, up and down. A few storms, some sun and a fresh new season in the air. Lots going on as has been the case in the weeks prior, but I’m thankful to be right where I am in life.

1. Birthday celebrations are maybe more fun for close friends and family. Birthdays can make you think and ask big questions about your life, where it has been and where it is presumably going. Those around you simply get to celebrate you for the day while you sort through all of these deep thoughts. Everyone responds to that differently and the hubby is one of those people who sorta dreads his day. He feels like he is getting so old and losing his youth as each year passes, which is a bit ridiculous if you ask me. We celebrated his 27th birthday by going to a place called Cowfish where their specialty is hamburgers with sushi. Yep, that’s the thing. I made the mistake best decision ever of ordering his ice cream cake before we went to dinner. Following our incredibly filling and delicious meal, they brought out a ginormous and tasty cheesecake slice to the tune of employees singing along with a cowbell and a gong. So, then we had no choice but to come home and eat ice cream cake. If he didn’t enjoy his birthday, I sure did.

Mini-burger and Sushi

Birthday Man

2. Making music is incredibly vulnerable. I mentioned having no words earlier this week, which resulted in an emotional yet beautiful song. We spent the better part of the weekend playing, discussing* and recording music. Discussing may be code for fighting about music. We both put all of our emotions and hopes and insecurities on the line when we play together. The hubby is significantly better at music and has dedicated so much time and energy into it. I usually lay my heart out whenever we write or sing together. It’s a delicate topic and we don’t seem to know just how best to work with one another. At the same time, we both realize that working together on music has created some of our best work.

Producer at work

Singing...with an accordion

3. Kids say the funniest things. Acted out by adults, those things are even funnier. We’ve spent a considerable amount of time this week giggling over these videos on youtube. Careful…it may take hours.

This particular video hit a little too close to home considering all of my many food allergies.

Words

Sometimes, there are no words. No words that can really sum it all up. No words that can make it all better. No words to truly express how emotion has taken hold. It’s like trying to catch the ocean’s waves with only a butterfly net.

Yet we try to do something about those thoughts and feelings. Whether it’s running away from them, pushing them forward, drowning them out, hiding from them or creating something new.

This week, I had no words. Instead, we created music. While my relationship with music is complicated, I am so grateful for it. It put emotion and meaning into something regarding a tragedy in someone else’s life. There’s nothing I can do and to be honest, I’m incredibly distant from the situation in almost every way.

Since writing it, I’ve been practically consumed by this song. Singing it over and over and now that we have some scratch tracks, I’ve been listening to it on repeat. I can’t tell you why I responded as strongly as I did, other than to say, “Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn.” – Romans 12:15

I have no words to close us out. No summary lesson on what this blog’s about. No link to the song as it’s not actually done yet. I suppose all I can say is to keep loving one another. Pray for each other, as sometimes that’s all you can really do.

Thursday Three

As much as I have been a bit lost in the days lately, there’s something grounding about Thursdays. Every week I have that little reminder and extra nudge to write. So much so that it seems like I write on Thursdays more than any other day. Putting the Thursday Three on my list of things I have to do (but also want to do) seems to make it happen more often than not, and I love it. Let’s talk about the week, shall we?

1. Music will always be a complicated love of mine. I struggled for a while to even form that sentence. What is music to me? There’s something about it that can open up emotions and thoughts you didn’t even realize you had. Listening to it, playing it, writing…it can have you pouring out your heart or just be something in the background. The hubby is an amazing musician, which was part of my first attraction to him, but music has always clearly been a bigger part of his life than mine. People often assume that I must be equally involved in music and when they find out I am not, sometimes assume I’m not musical at all or even interested in it. Neither assumption is easy to defend. Music has a piece of me that I can’t explain. I was in choir all through school and being a part of the music culture has always been important to me. I go through times where it’s top of mind and I can’t wait to come home to play around with it. Then, I can go months at a time without the slightest inclination to pick up an instrument. Right now, I’m in a season of playing music. A few nights a week, the hubby has been teaching me a few things on the bass and then we get to jam together. What I love even more is writing music with him. He writes all of the music while I come up with some lyrics, both of us pulling out thoughts and emotions that we don’t know how to articulate otherwise.

2. When you have the time, embrace it. I haven’t loved everything about the current jobless situation. But when it’s National Donut Day on the hubby’s day off, why not join in? So, I told him we were “going on an adventure” which basically meant I tricked him into going on a walk making him guess what said adventure entailed. It didn’t take long before he smelled the Krispy Kreme.

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3. Every American should visit D.C. at some point in their lives. My mom always said that, but I can’t say I disagree. It makes the history and the politics feel a little more real and relevant. You can’t help but feel a little patriotic, plus it’s just a neat place to see. My dad and sister were there for vacation so I took the opportunity to visit them and see some more of the sites.

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My sister drew this while we waited at the restaurant and I thought it was pretty awesome, considering my stick figure was far from impressive.

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