The seductive, dangerous dream of more space for the creative
"If I can create at all, then that’s what I came here for, after all." 😭😭😭
i’m old and retired so i have all the time in the world to find my rhythm and my voice but i’m old so i don’t much care anymore / about the awards and such / like politics it kinda sticks in my craw / i write for the pleasure it brings me and the response i get from my small posse / i think i write good / i certainly have a perspective / being old and all
Oh time. I'm a teacher currently saying "six more weeks and it will be summer and I can finish my book." The middle-aged urge to create all the things before I run out of time is real.
Thank you for this ! I too am middle aged (45 about to be 46). The time is slipping through the hourglass at an alarming rate is oh too real. It’s easy to feel discouraged by the feeling of being “unproductive.” Creativity intentions may never be realized. How sad that time isn’t the only their only thief, but the burning urgency, too.
Loved this topic and your perspective! I'm a few years past 45, and can remember the heightened awareness of my own mortality when I hit that milestone: "the clock is not going to slow down or stop until, finally, it does, and then you do, too." The weird thing is, you might think it'd make someone want to be more productive. But it's had the opposite effect on me, especially for things that really don't matter that much.
I hope your time in Iceland feels like forever!
Oh gosh, I needed to read this today. This part is going to stick with me especially: "I only knew the stories that lit me up inside, and the absolutely painfully beautiful way that other people’s stories made me feel like I finally understood being a person. I wanted to make other people understand how I was thinking about being a person, too. If there was any one goal I had in mind at the time, young and raw and unformed as I was, it would have been to join the circle of minds similarly lighting up at new music, at new books, at new paintings and dances and poetry and plays. Just to be a part of the group of people who understand about how impossible it is to be human."
Because that is the joy of being read, in so many ways, and where I guess "recognition" gets conflated in my mind (badly, sadly) with "being read." Because those aren't the same things, really. Like, I don't think I could ever write just for me - one of the reasons I write is to make other people feel the way I feel when I read books. But being read is also a mysterious thing that happens somewhere else that we have no control over. So, anyway, thank you for writing this. Thank you for being a person and sharing your thoughts on being a person with us <3.
Very similar journey here, so 1) yes, exactly; and 2) thank you.
I love all of this, thank you!
Equating productivity to writing. Oof, what a gut punch that line is. And a good reminder that those two aren’t the same thing. Beautifully written.
Absolutely love -- and can relate to -- all of this!