I work as a librarian in Louisiana. If you’ve been watching the news, you’ve seen how bitterly cold our weather has been. Today is the first day of real prolonged sunshine. I relied on a swath of musicals, books, and soup to face the grueling onset of snow. I even listened to Hoku’s “Another Dumb Blonde”. That’s a song from Nickelodeon’s “Snow Day”. The music video is literally a dressed up campaign for the iMac computer system—the big idea that restored Apple Computer’s relevance pre-iPhone.
Hoku, the one hit wonder she was, brought joy to my week of frigidity because snow really sucks when you’re sticky, slippery, wet, and placed at the mercy of a person that is gawking at the rarity of snow in the Bayou State. I posted a blurb on Facebook about how the mysterious combination of wind chill and ice renders my joints useless. I actually said: I move like a steering column without power steering fluid. A well-experienced driver knows that it’s difficult to turn your car without power steering. You might need quite the force to turn, if the power steering pump goes kaput.
The cold became a creative experiment for me because I didn’t see my own creative “snow” accumulating since the new year. It’s been difficult to re-purpose my writing energy into something as awesome as academic writing. Sure, I complained a bit when crafting 5 to 10 pages projects, but the groaning never outweighed the passion, purpose, and fun of the gift. So my friend Gregory said this: You’re ridiculously under-stimulated. When he said this, I was butt-hurt because how dare he? But maybe he was “right”, because writers not around “writing things” are often creatively dead.
I watched the Chicago musical last night. I’ve owned the DVD for quite some time and never had the attention span to get through it in one sitting. But I did so last night. What else was I going to do? The roads were iced over and there was nowhere to go.
However, Chicago was brave enough to gnaw me out of my creative slump. It’s been crazy finding interesting ways to stay creative after getting my Bachelor’s. I thought Dr. King’s birthday would inspire my writing, but I ended up unable to hit the publish button despite working on an entry for several hours. Just when I was about to surrender to my own malaise, I had a eureka moment.
I often need a variety of inspirations working together to motivate my writing. Maybe the inspirations include a new Fall Out Boy album, and a Netflix series (watched in creative spurts). Then, I could add to that some wonderful photos by my Instagram followers. Whatever the arrangement, environment is key. And maybe there’s credence in the notion that creative chaos has inspired some of the world’s greatest books, plays, musicals, and oratory.
One sure thing is: It’s hard to write in a place that with closed people, closed things, and closed hearts. The frozen wasteland I’ve just weathered taught me that I’ve got to be willing to place things together that aren’t normally fitting.
And I guess that under the facade of librarian life exists the zany creativity that is freaky and geeky enough to inspire the art that sustains a life that appears to observers to be boring and utterly useless. But my oh my, how some people fail at understanding the astronomic wonder of creative chaos.