‘Creating in Chaos’ at the Creativity Café

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BY DEB LUND, June 21, 2013

It’s the end of the school year. Concerts, final tests, soccer tournaments, district track meets, miles, miles, miles. Novels call, songs wait to be written, lines beg to be learned, dance steps practiced.

Henri Matisse's oil on canvas," La Musique" from 1910, reveals an artist with creativity to spare. The painting is now part of the collection of the Hermitage Museum in Saint Petersburg, Russia.

Henri Matisse’s oil on canvas,” La Musique” from 1910, reveals an artist with creativity to spare. The painting is now part of the collection of the Hermitage Museum in Saint Petersburg, Russia.

We’re splitting up the family for a big chunk of the summer. Some here, some of us to Minnesota. Pack, pack, referee kids, pack, feed them, argue about which vehicle to take, and then, and then, and then…

A bigger issue arises. It doesn’t matter what it is. You know how it goes. It could be that the dog dies, the spouse confesses, a kid starts a forest fire, or you’re quarantined for a rare disease. What happens then? Do we stop? No! Well, except for this … We put off creating. And this is the time we need to create.

We need to stop obsessing, stop making ourselves grind away our souls little by little, but we don’t. We check off the lists; tell ourselves these are the important things; these are the things my community wants of me. Our creative work isn’t even on the list! This fact should horrify us.

What if we dropped the “shoulds” and wrote a blog post we’ve been wanting to write (um… this one); sing the song that’s been wanting to come out; rehearse that scene for the play?

And those things that serve creativity that didn’t even make the list after whatever was thrown at the fan — let’s put those back in, too.

Sleep. Eat well. Go for a walk — even if it’s just to the mailbox. Okay, you’re allowed one trip to the Payless bakery for that gooey chocolate torte you deserve and later stuff in your face while sitting at the television. But, before you make the trip, what if you tried sketching? Or pulling out your old saxophone? Have those paints totally dried up yet? Got a few jazz steps still in you?

My family’s in Minnesota. There will be washers and dryers there. I can borrow anything I forget. If my friends and community can’t support me when I need to say NO, then what’s there for me anyway? What do I need right now? What do you need?

I’m going to go cross off items I haven’t done on my list. And replace a few of them.

Have a good, healthy, creative summer. See you later.

Deb Lund is a creativity coach, children’s author, and popular presenter at conferences, schools, and libraries. Deb is a pro at creating in chaos, and she would like to thank her wonderful family, Karl, Kaj, Sandra, and Jean, for helping her develop that skill. You can hear more from The Creativity Café here.

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