Are You Plugged In?

plugOne sign of getting older is that I seem to notice things I’ve never noticed before. I don’t know if it’s just swishing around past my prime, or rather just starting out in my prime, but I smell things no one else smells, hear things no one else hears, and notice actors and actresses being recycled through the years from one movie to another.

I love escapism. I don’t get to watch TV or movies as often as I’d like, as work and writing and yelling at the dogs takes up a lot of my time. But I find I wonder “how do they do that?” more often than not. And I’ll be the first to tell you that I am amazed at special effects. My simple brain cannot wrap around the fact that city landscapes and alien spaceships and Roman cities are nothing more than 1’s and 0’s running through a computer. I can’t even begin to understand how they made the German’s face melt in Indiana Jones and Raiders of the Lost Ark; Transformers destroying the city (and each other); Inception, where people run on ceilings and curl cityscapes back on themselves. King Kong. Toy Story. Avatar. The list goes on.

Special effects, computer generated imagery. Galaxies and Mordor and everything inbetween. And none of it is real. Yet one can’t help but get sucked into those worlds as if we really stepped through the magic portal. Our minds quit trying to figure out what’s real and what’s fake and just get lost in someone else’s creativity.

Even more mind-blowing is that the same part of the anatomy that everyone has — even me — is where it all comes from. One’s mind. Which resides in one’s brain. Which we all have (but not all use…ah…a blog for another day).

So it is with any step into creativity. We have all gotten lost in a good book, holding our breath as we turn the pages. We have all looked at a painting or a sculpture and marveled at its simplicity or complexity. Some are able to take the next step in their creative career — go to school, get published, get a job at Industrial Light and Magic. Some turn their love of acting into dinner theater or Broadway, or their skill at playing a guitar or piano into symphony orchestras or rock bands.

So why is it, if we all have the same equipment, we don’t understand the same thing? Why is it so hard for some of us and a piece of cake to others? I can barely do basic Math, yet accountants and computer designers see numbers as easily as seeing the sun. Mankind creates the most amazing, breathtaking, impossible things — all with that one little tool in their skull.

The “whys” of why some people develop the gift and others don’t I will leave to philosophy and a glass of wine. The point is, we ALL have the ability to use that hunk of grey matter to open those magic portals. Some can’t wait for their free time to jump into their next creative project; others see creativity as a waste of time.

Maybe it’s just that the same plug that plugs into the outlet of special effects is on a wall of infinite outlets that lead to infinite destinations. Maybe it’s just the luck of the draw that one plug leads to quantum physics and one to insanity. One to painting and one to crayons. We are all plugged in to different outlets. We can’t change where we are plugged in, but we CAN choose to follow the path of electricity to outlet boxes scattered all over the universe.

Working with the material inside the brain box is a lot of work. Some just catch on faster than others. But when you find that junction box where creativity makes you feel good, you want to stay plugged in. Some may be taken back by the jolt that comes now and then from creative satisfaction, while others find it a natural high they want to come back to again and again.

I don’t know where all this deep philosophy came from this fine morning, but I do know one thing — don’t give up. Make time. Let yourself be. Let it flow. And know you can come back to this feeling any time.

Whew … and to think … I had this cosmic burst before I had my morning coffee!

 

Great Balls of Thunder

thunderstormThere is something about thunderstorms that brings out the creative muse in me. The rumbling, bumbling, rolling approach of a storm, the electricity in the air, all make my senses dance. I know there is a practical explanation for the physical changes an impending storm brings…but we here with the Goddess don’t always want practical. We want mystical! We want magical! We don’t want explanations — we want make believe.

The power behind thunderstorms is magical all by itself. Combined with wind and pounding rain, thunder and lightning can destroy trees, people, and property. But I’m talking about the romantic side of thunderstorms. I live in the country, and I often can watch the storm approach. The scent of rain reaches out to touch me, water hitting dirt somewhere in the distance. The towering cloud tops in the distance sky slowly make their way towards my deck, their churning full of promise of the melee to come.

Thunder begins like a dog’s soft growl, but each growl gets louder, longer. Lightning begins to dance across the sky, its timing closer to matching the explosions in the sky. The storm  makes its way across the field at a slow, steady pace. I once sat in the barn and watched the wall of rain make its way across the field, eventually making its way to and over the building. Once the rain hits, the atmosphere changes. Sometimes the rain is steady, the lightning and thunder steady as well. Other times the rain pours so fast you can barely see your hand in front of your face, lightning crack and lights the night sky, and thunder shakes the walls like an earthquake. Those are the storms history is made of.

So here is this majestic storm making its way across my home this evening, and here is me, running around closing windows. Then it stops. I open windows. Another wave makes its way through the countryside. I close the windows. It stops. I open windows. I don’t move as quickly as the good old days, so there’s a lot of mopping up from Mother Nature. Suddenly this creative muse is a bit crabby because the storm blew over the plant in front of one of the windows and bent the screen on the patio door. The storm blew over the plastic chairs on the deck and I hear the flooding of the fields are incredible.

So goes the romance of thunderstorms.  I guess it just  depends on the storm. And the clean up.