Thursday, May 26, 2005

Time and Idleness

It's been overcast the last couple days, so I'm never really sure when I wake up what time it is. This morning I lay in bed, initially just being lazy, assuring myself it was early yet, then just mulling over my dreams. After that I was thinking ahead to today's workshop (eek) and of course, rehearsing things I might say. The workshop title is "Calling on the Mythic Muse" and I hope to draw on my own experiences with the Kalevala stories, and the power of that kind of storytelling freedom. I remembered back to when I was a kid and would make up long, elaborate (and immediately forgotten) story songs as I walked back and forth to school. That's the kind of creativity that I believe is innate in us all, but usually gets drummed out by the relentless practicality of life and peer pressure. "Stop daydreaming": how often do we hear that? We're a nation of Puritans--idle hands are the devil's workshop!--and seemingly pointless reverie gets equated with wasted time.

In the last few years, I have been trying to recover that easy creativity. I guess it was never gone completely--I never did stop daydreaming--but it becomes a kind of frightened critter, cowering from the daylight. We don't trust our muse, we don't trust the pleasure of spinning an ephemeral story, one that need not last a lifetime or several, but entertains for a short while, makes us feel united in our separateness.

It's taken me a while to quiet the Puritans in my head, and I'm not sure it's done yet. But this time in Dairy Hollow is helping immensely, and while I am hungry to write and write more, I am feeling mostly content. Or trying to do so.

Last night when I walked back after dinner, a couple of deer were eating right in front of the farmhouse. The doe ran off at once, but the young buck (three pointer) stared at me for quite a while. He ran off about ten yards and stared some more. How will we know anything if we don't take a look once in a while? He eventually ran off, white tail bobbing, but he seemed satisfied.

2 comments:

Vera Borisovna said...

I was going to post a clever comment, then I got all bogged down by signing in as a blogger. But maybe I didn't have to sign in as a blogger. Maybe I could have posted without being a blogger. Maybe I could have been a blog free commentator...could have, would have, should have. The story of my life.

I think what I was going to say concerned storytelling and the id. Very interesting your comments on societal restraints on the thinking process. Unfortunately, to engage in a completely free train of thought might not be politically correct. Say, for example, you're an artist and everytime you sit sketching, out comes a voluptious babe as if by magic. Knowing this is going to be frowned upon by your femiinist buddies, you erase it and in its place goes something acceptable, a vase of flowers.

Oh well, guess what I just found out. I'm already a blogger. I signed up for this blogspot about a year ago, but completely forgot. It's just that I never learned how to use this blogging software.

K. A. Laity said...

Hey Elena!

The id must do what it's gotta do -- but I think you're selling feminists short. You're just a Third Waver responding to the admittedly anti-sexy Second Wave. But back in the 70s, the beginning of the glorification of powerless porn stars like Marilyn Chambers, sex was not without a lot of baggage (well, like it ever is). But that's what started the breaks that lead to the Third Wave--the puritannical movement by folks like MacKinnon and Dworkin (who at one point said any kind of penetration=rape). The problem with any history is there are always reactions and counter-reactions. The initial action gets lost in the mists of time.

So don't erase -- be true to yourself. If that means cheesecake cuties, whose business is that? Be proud -- you're a wonderful artist.