To the Abbey with my jar of seeds…
After a far too eventful start to the new year, I have decided to jump ship and take up residence at the Abbey for a while. I have been missing my horse Tinker and my caravan, and the feeling of living within the embrace of nature. Lorenzo, the Gypsy King, sensing my need for renewal, sent me a message – by some alchemy of Gypsy magic (or just a boat and few hefty gypsies to row it) he has transported Tinker and the caravan back to the apple orchard at the Abbey, and suggested I sojourn there for a while.
So here I am, sitting under the apple trees and contemplating the germinator jar I found at a bazaar on White Owl Island. What is a germinator jar, you ask? Well, I love munching on sprouts and the jar is for growing sprouts to munch on, from mung beans and the like. It’s just the right size for my tiny caravan kitchen. But contemplating the jar and what it does – germinates seeds just enough to make them fresh and green and lovely for munching, packed with vitamins and goodness – has set me pondering the nature of creativity and what I can do to renew the childlike joy of creativity that just takes pleasure in making something free and beautiful.
This has been bugging me for a while. My daughter Lana loves to cook, and for a while she worked in a kitchen and considered making it her career. But then she abruptly stopped,because, she said, making her creative pleasure her work took all the pleasure out of it – and the creativity. She wanted to go on enjoying pottering around her own kitchen with the same joy she had known as a child, learning to cook at home. So she chose another career, and enjoys cooking for family and friends.
Some people, of course, can meld work and creativity with consummate skill, but in my experience, I found that working as a writer robs me of some of that simple childlike pleasure. Having to think of deadlines, having to trim my prose to suit editorial requirements, having to worry about writing enough and well enough to pay the bills – it’s a business, and even in times not as economically stressed as this, it makes creative joy a low priority.
I left a good many seeds scattered about and forgot about them as I scrambled to `justify’ my writing passion by making money from it. Now I see that I need to gather these seeds up and put them in my own creative germinator jar and see what they grow into. I need to get away from the business of writing and back to the childlike joy of simply creating, for no other reason than that I can, and that nothing crucial hangs on the outcome – and for that sense of freedom I need my little caravan, the apple orchard, and Tinker’s warm muzzle pressing into my palm (he likes sprouts as much as he likes apples).
So here I am, and while I am putting mung beans into the glass jar, I am going to be germinating some seeds in my creative jar as well. A little bit of alchemy with sprouts on the side.