Check out this quote:
”The arts are not a way to make a living. They are a very human way of making life more bearable. Practicing an art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow, for heaven’s sake. Sing in the shower. Dance to the radio. Tell stories. Write a poem to a friend, even a lousy poem. Do it as well as you possibly can. You will get an enormous reward. You will have created something.” – Kurt Vonnegut
Create something! Creation is a fundamental purpose of your existence, a cause of your being alive and feeling alive. ‘Be fruitful and multiply,’ means much more than having children – it means being creative, expanding yourself, multiplying your offerings to the Earth and to Humanity.
That’s why Mothers and Fathers feel the indescribable high when a child is born to them – they created a being of love, of dreams, of possibility; it’s why a comedian relishes the laughter of the audience – he created laughter where there was only silence and anticipation (and the swirls of alcohol-induced demands that this SOB better be funny!); it’s why a football coach celebrates when his team scores a touchdown – he created a structure and plan for achievement and victory and it happened; it’s why an architect beams, silently with a glass of wine, when she sees her vision for an empty space get filled with the edifice erected first in her imagination.
Vonnegut’s calling to us is to create something, which he knew from having done so, that will give us an experience of something he knew intimately – the invigorating feeling of ALIVENESS that results from having created something for others to enjoy or be inspired by or edified by.
There is a world of difference between breathing and existing and LIVING and BEING ALIVE. The difference is languor and listlessness vs. activity and creativity. The difference is fear vs. power. The difference comes down to contributing and having an impact on others….or creating nothing – no memories, no legacy, no enduring contribution to more life on Earth.
There need be no grandeur, or grandiosity, to creating something with lasting impact. The teacher who guides the student into a new understanding, and thus an expanded world, is almost never celebrated with rewards or accolades of any kind. Yet, she has played an indispensable part in the flourishing of a Human Soul, the formation of a new, expanding vision of the Self, and the fruition of the grace and eloquence of learning.
Or the Mother who celebrates inwardly when her Beloved Child ‘gets it’, whatever ‘it’ is – the first of many independent steps, the utterance of the first intelligible word, the first insistence, expressed in the inexpressible language of Self-awareness, by the Child that she can and will do it on her own.
In other words, you don’t have to earn anything to create something. You simply have to want to be alive soulfully, authentically, obstinately, shamelessly, vulnerably, humbly, humorously, devotedly, thankfully, lovingly.
Are you living? Or merely existing? Are you having an impact? Or are you being buffeted by circumstances?
Only you can answer this. And only you can create it.
Ideas of what can be created:
- A poem
- A painting or sketch – abstract or representative
- A photograph
- A coloring in a coloring book – it’s a metaphorical exercise of adding color to your life and your world
- Share a story
- Tell a joke
- Share a memory
- Take a walk in Nature, on the beach – creates memories and inspiration
- Take a walk thru the rain and smile, kick puddles, laugh, and play
- Take a long drive thru the country
- Host a gathering of friends, family, or co-workers for no reason at all
- Cook a meal, especially one you’ve never tried before
- Share an act of kindness, generosity
- Forgive someone – call them or do it in person – then leave it behind forever
- Forgive yourself, then leave it behind forever
- Call someone you haven’t called or spoken to in months or years
- Write a letter with pen and paper
- Write a short story
- Record your dreams in a dream journal
- Keep a journal of your life, your relationship, your job, your aspirations, thoughts, etc.
- Give your partner, lover, child, friend, parent, or whomever, a body or foot massage
- Mindfully, thankfully, make a raw salad and eat it mindfully
- Create a blog – who cares if you (think) you have nothing to say – just say it!!!
- Buy water guns and have a playful, delirious water fight
- MAKE LOVE, MAKE LOVE, MAKE LOVE!!!!! Then MAKE MORE LOVE!!!!!
- Go on a day trip with the family – anywhere, even to the local park if that’s all you can do
- Help your partner, lover, spouse, Mother, Father, Grandparent prepare a meal
- Sneak up on your lover and kiss her/him on the neck, cheek, or…… 😉
- Create puppets and put on a puppet show for your children
- Play charades with family or friends
- Show your children or some neighborhood children some of the outdoor games we used to play as children (instead of lamenting the fact that those games are not played anymore you can resurrect them!)
- Exercise – start light, even VERY light if you have to: a walk, 5 pushups, 3 situps, shoot some hoops – just get in motion, sweat, and then build slightly each day or each week (create your own regimen)
- Breathe deeply
- Close your eyes and LISTEN – just LISTEN – to the sounds, the silence, your thoughts – forget the idea of meditation which might be too ‘boxy’
- Pick up your knitting needle and start knitting again
- Create a snow angel, a sand castle, play in the mud, shuffle through Autumn leaves, walk through shallow water
- Lie on the ground, stare at the sky (blue sky, moving clouds, night-sky) and IMAGINE ANYTHING!
- Tickle your child, your spouse/lover/partner and laugh, laugh, laugh
- Start a collection of: shells, rocks, stamps, bottles, interesting branches or twigs, or whatever
- Add as many items, ideas, and possibilities to this list, create your own list and then CREATE!!!