When I was younger, it was all about the dancing. I would not survive without the ability to dance, would not live fully without the music in my head and the daily grind of classes and rehearsals. I never, ever in a million years thought the necessity of -- or the ability for -- dancing would fall away from me. I realize that the need has transmuted itself into something else....it wasn't *just* about dancing, although since that was what I did, so intensely, that is what I needed.
What it really was about was the need to create.
Now I work with my hands, and not so much with my entire body. There's really almost nothing I haven't tried in the realm of creative activity, and there are some things that speak to me more than anything else. Working with fabric is precise, tactile, colorful, and I can turn a two-dimensional piece of cloth into something that has shape and definition.
With metals and enamels, I revel in the physical aspects of the work -- pounding, sawing, cutting -- and getting my hands dirty.
And hot glass....it is mesmerizing and mystical and dangerous, and I find my mental focus is sharper when I do this work than at any other time. Probably because the possibility of setting myself on fire is real.
I write. I bake. I've recently started carving my own print blocks and rubber stamps.I'm an occasional knitter. Some days, the creative work absolutely pours out of me, like water pouring out of a broken dam, but other days, I am too quiet. I haven't found the balance point.
But I know what I need....and this is it.... I need to make things. I need to think about how to get from point A to point Q. I need to take the raw materials and turn them into something that has never been seen before. I need to synthesize everything that I know and then create something new.
Sometimes, I just need to play with the raw materials until something happens. Sometimes nothing happens. And sometimes the unexpected happens.
I never realize how far from myself I have gotten, when in the chaos and business of Daily Life, I gradually cease to fill the small spaces with creative action. Then one day I feel it, like a lead weight in my soul, and I don;t know who I am anymore, and I can't figure out what I love or want or see in front of me, and I find myself reaching for a scrap of fabric, or searching the files (or the internet) for ideas....and then I just go and do it. And I'm off to the races, then, because after so long away, the ideas tumble over each other, and suddenly, my hands find their rhythm, and one project after another, one idea after another, gets started, worked on, finished.
And I am myself again.