Thursday, December 2, 2010
Busy, Busy, Longing for Simplicity
It seems like there is always so much to do. No one told me when I embarked on this adventure of performing and writing how much marketing and promotion would be involved. I guess you're probably thinking that I should have figured as much, but when you are running on the creative brain as I am – practical concerns are often out the window in favor of artistic, expressive ones. Now I find my days ever filled by the demands of answering emails, sending contracts, making contact lists, contracting book reviewers and trying to make sure that I haven't forgotten any other bit of business house-keeping. All the while what I really want to do is create more art. Funny though, I'm discovering that the more I create, the more time I have to spend doing the uncreative stuff that is necessary in order to share that which I have created. This really is quite a dilemma for me. I guess if I could have one thing for Christmas, I'd ask for a business manager – someone who would be as excited about promoting and managing my work as I am about creating it! Santa, do you think you have any of those sitting around at the North Pole?
I find myself so crazy busy right now – my to-do lists are growing increasingly longer and somehow the creative pursuits continue to get pushed further down the list. :(
I am going to have to learn how to balance my time differently. Maybe I need to spend whole days with my email server turned off so I can really devote my full attentions to creating. . . Don't get me wrong -- the promotional part is not all a complete drag, and I have learned to appreciate it more this year, namely because I've learned to see it as an opportunity to meet new people and expand my sphere of friends. And believe me, I have met some absolutely wonderful people through my work who truly do enrich my life.
At any rate, with all of this busy-ness, I've been reminded of a short piece I wrote while living in Spain. It was inspired by my cousin and something he did when he left the big city and returned to his roots – to life in a small town. The simplicity of it is what appeals to me now. In so many ways our lives are so complicated. I recognize the freedom that comes with simplicity, and yet with all I have going, it's hard to get to that place sometimes. I wonder if any of you can relate.
© 2005 Lindsay Bonilla
He spit out the window. Yes, that’s what he did. Rolled down the window and spit onto the black pavement as the car pulled away.
He spit on the big-city life – apartments built one on top of another, chemical exhaust clawing at his lungs, and neighbors that he’d never seen or met. Thousands of people running around in a maze with no end, relationships with no connection, lives with no tranquility.
He never belonged there in the first place.
He just got sucked into it – like we all do or will, inevitably.
He preferred the country life – houses in the middle of expanses, clean air, blue skies, and neighbors who had never been strangers.
Stillness, the people who mean something surrounding him, and abundant moments where he could hear himself think.
He’s different that way. Sitting on the front porch steps of his grandparent’s house, stroking the belly of an aged dog, listening to the silence – and remembering who he is.
Not twisting in the maze, drowning in a sea of distractions, obsessing over the noise -- and forgetting the only part of himself that means anything.
Like the rest of the world is so intently trying to do.
He’s always had a strange way of expressing himself -- one that I’ve never fully understood. But I understand what he did when he climbed into that car with his ratty old duffel bag – and I think I respect him more for it.
He spit out the window – yes, that’s what he did.
And then he left it all behind him.
* * *
How do you get to the place of simplicity with all that you have going on? I'd love to know! Maybe you can give me some pointers. Sometimes I stop and look out the window or watch the animals (hence the picture of the deer.) They remind me of a simpler way of life with less striving and busy-ness -- but more about the life lessons that animals have taught me later. Now I await your suggestions. . .