December 19, 2014

Creating Crap

Why is the act of creation so hard?
I love the initial feeling when an idea comes. I excel at ideation (though I hate that word; it reeks of marketing manipulation).
I'm horrible at follow-through. Three afghans, in progress for more than a year, will bear witness. My craft closet, gleefully reclaimed from my daughter when she transitioned out of needing a changing table, is chaotic. Think of Monica's messy closet on Friends.

The time following creation is bad for me, too. I'm detail-oriented (can't see the forest because I keep examining the quality of bark on a single tree) and prone to criticism. That moment when creation is done, when I survey the results of my labor... yuck. The gulf between what I pictured and what resulted is horrendously wide, and in that moment after it's done, I want to give it away so I don't have to see it again.

Fast-forward to Christmas. Ideas for gifts? I'm usually good at this. Ideas for gifts that are personal and creative and fit a budget? Harder, but still possible for me. This year, I worked with my brother to record myself playing piano to put on CDs for family members.

I'm listening to the play list of my recordings and holding the completed envelope (with song list, arrangers' names, this picture and suitable gift tag-type info).

"Winter Sonata", by Genece Hamby
I hate it.
I loathe it.
I'm having to fight my inner voices calmly pointing out every missed note, every abrupt tempo change, and then the low, homemade quality of the package.

I'm getting used to this, by the way. I don't like things I've written until 3-6 months after I've written it. I don't know if I will ever enjoy listening to myself play piano. Kind of ironic that "Like a River Glorious" is the song playing right now, the part of the verse with the lyrics, "not a surge a worry/ not a shade of care/ not a blast of hurry/ touch the Spirit there".

My offerings may not feel suitable to me. I don't know how to change those emotions. But I know I can keep offering what I have, refusing to give in to the voices that tell me it would be better not to give at all. Those are lies. I know this because no one has ever given me a gift, from a ring my parents gave me all the way to a pink ribbon bracelet my daughter made out of her pajama pants drawstring, that made me think: "Wow, this is pathetic."

Gifts matter because they say something about the heart of the giver.
I made and gave these with love and a heart longing to offer myself to those I love. Those I know will know that and appreciate the gift.
No matter what I think of the gift's quality.

1 comment:

Heather said...

Love this.