January 17, 2012
After posting my most vulnerable and honest blog ever, and getting the most feedback ever, I was left with the question… Now what do I write about?
One thing that came up repeatedly in response to the post was people – many of them friends I’ve known for years – saying: “It’s amazing how similar our stories/our fathers are.” That was one of the reasons I felt compelled to share my (I thought) unusual reaction to my father’s death – while I know I was risking seeming insensitive to the death of a family member by admitting I was relieved, and it made me uncomfortable sharing so much, I figured there had to be others who had the same experience that I did.
Actually, after he died and I downloaded a bunch of Motown music, I started googling around to see if it was ‘normal’ to have conflicting feelings at the death of an alcoholic parent. I didn’t really find anything that described what I was going through. The next morning, when I woke up at 6am, I started typing the blog post on my Droid. It was one of those pieces that just writes itself, that flows out of you intact.
The experience reminded me of the Elizabeth Gilbert TED talk, in which she brilliantly explains writing, creativity and our skewed take on genius.
The Greeks and Romans used to believe that creativity, rather than coming from humans, was actually a spirit that came to people from a “distant and unknowable source.” Some called it a daemon, some called it a genius. A person wasn’t a genius; they had a genius who would come and help them out with their work. To me, sounds like tapping into the collective unconscious. Anyways, Elizabeth points out that this takes the pressure off of artists. And, that the artist’s only job is to show up and work. It’s the genius’s job to make it good.
Ole, Allah, a glimpse of god. A glimpse, a remembrance of the truth we are each connected to.
“Just do your job, continue to show up for your piece of it… Ole to you nonetheless…just for having to have the sheer human love and stubborness to keep showing up.”