There’s not enough time to be creative in all the ways that I aspire to be creative. I feel overwhelmed by ambition – by what turns out is an overabundance of masculine energy.
I found my flute when I was home for Christmas. I used to play the flute when I was in Junior High (aka Middle School). I wasn’t very good. In fact, I was terrible… but that’s only because I didn’t practice. Maybe, I thought, if I actually practiced, things would be different. I decided to take it home with me. Relearning a musical instrument would be an interesting challenge – a good way to spend my free time.
If I had free time.
One ‘good idea’ gets compiled onto another good idea until I can feel my heart racing and my fingers drumming impatiently against my thigh.
This is the year I embrace my creative self. I decided that in December. Last year I put a lot of energy into presenting myself as an entrepreneur, but there’s a freer side to me that I feel pulled to express.
While on holidays I read ‘Addiction to Perfection‘ by Marion Goodman. I found it extremely difficult to read this book. It tapped a little too pointedly on my most ingrained beliefs and my most protected insecurities. I read it, I cried, I put it down, I starred at it on my dresser, and I picked it up again. Repeat cycle.
This is what I learned:
We all have masculine and feminine energies. The masculine energy is goal-oriented. Feminine energy lives in the ‘now’.
“ It has its own rhythms, slower than those of the masculine; meandering, moving in a spiral motion, seemingly turning back on itself, but inevitably attracted to the light. It finds what is meaningful to it and plays… This feminine does not save itself for some glorious moment in the future, nor grieve over some lost moment in the past. It holds nothing back. Now is all there is.” [An excerpt from ‘Addiction to Perfection].
My masculine and feminine energies are completely off kilter.
I got sick this week. On Friday, I lay sprawled out – feverish – on the couch watching back-to-back episodes of Hannibal. I slept 9 hours Thursday night and then an additional 5 hours during the day on Friday. I woke up a little before midnight, passed out on my bed. I crawled under the covers and slept until 10am the next morning. It was a lot of sleeping. Saturday I was pretty drowsy, but at least I felt better.
I got back to Vancouver last Monday with a long list of artistic ventures that I wanted to pursue in 2015:
- Jump back into acting
- Start work on my first book
- Spoken word poetry
- Relearn the flute
- Enrol in Dance Lessons
- Join the Climbing Gym
- Look into Kick-boxing
- Purchase oil paints (or watercolour) and learn to paint
I also wanted to learn French in time for my one month trip to France in September, and I wanted to Join Toastmasters so that I could work on my public speaking skills.
I thought I could do it all. I can’t… at least not in the way I’ve been doing it.
“One foot in front of the other.”
That had been my mantra last year, and it had actually worked. But I was throwing everything I’d learned out the window. I wanted to do more. I wanted to speed toward accomplishment and recognition faster. I wanted more.
I don’t know. I’m still trying to figure out where this desire comes from.
Why do I want to expand the ways that I express myself creatively?
It was a different way of asking myself the same question, and it worked.
Because I spend too much time in front of my computer. I want to learn what it feels like to be free in my body and mind. I want to experiment. I want to play.
I want to play!!!
That was it! I want to embrace my feminine energy, but all I know is masculine energy. All I know is striving. Striving is familiar and comfortable. Play feels nonsensical and scary. There’s a balance. That balance is where happiness lives… I think.
Maybe it’s less about putting one foot in front of the other, and more about unlocking time and finding joy in living. Art, for me, is living. Creating is living. There are multiple ways to create. I don’t have to master all of these skills, but each skill does bring with it the opportunity to play. I don’t need to schedule these into my calendar. I can just have them as options. Options for play. Options for expression.
“Time is only truly locked when we live in a mechanized world. Then we turn into clock-watchers and time-servers. Like the rest of life, time becomes uniform and standardized.” – Jeanette Winterson
I’m still trying to figure all of this out, but this is where I am for now.
What are your thoughts?
Latest posts by Christine Bissonnette (see all)
- A conversation about belonging at the Vancouver Writer’s Fest - October 28, 2015
- Creativity is our common language – it is how we communicate what we are afraid to say as ourselves - September 10, 2015
- “I left something important at home during week 1 at the National Voice Intensive” – entry by Christine Bissonnette - May 22, 2015