Part of the reason why I'm breaking from Twitter, Facebook, and scrolling the blogosphere for a week is because of my tendency to consume when I'm too afraid to create. I believe in healthy balance. Healthy balance. And I'm ready to admit that allowing my brain to put it's blinkers on in the Twitter parking-lot for an hour of "rest" isn't re-revving my creative engine in quite the way I'd like to put on.
I think back to my childhood when I would exile myself from the blaring television downstairs and just sit on my bedroom floor ~ carpet fuzz and all ~ with nothing but myself and my very own imagination. I'd play dress up, give monologues in the mirror, and make up entire realities that existed nowhere but in my own world. I'd get a handle on my dad's typewriter, some bright neon paper, and start clicking away. Sing at the top of my lungs over the stairway balcony ~ flat, but happy. Cut old t-shirts into a hundred hearts and staple them to my jeans. Write on my walls and leave secret messages in my closet for new children to read one day. Paint murals with no rhyme or reason ~ just freedom.
It wasn't always pretty. In fact, it was usually all quite messy and unfinished. But it didn't matter. It was art and it was carrying me.
I know that childhood gets idealized a lot, and I'm not one for living in the past. But the thing is, the past can be like a compass to our journey. We're not stuck in stories of our pasts that don't serve us ~ but we can let stories that resonate deeper ... the ones that have consistently hummed with our passions and our hopes ~ we can let those guide us.
Tonight I went to Bloom Bars open mic. I sang a little song that I wrote while living in Italy. It had been at least a year since I let that song move through me. My rust showed a little, but it didn't matter. The child in me knew that there would be more nights for letting it all out, for showing the many sides of my soul, for freedom ~ even if it comes out a little flat.
And there are. That's what's beautiful about letting fear--and all the subtle distracting ways that it manifests--break through the looming clouds and just wash away. There's a new opening that emerges, a clearing, a space for sitting with nothing but carpet fuzz and imagination. I think the kind of art that saves is born there ~ somewhere in between itchy legs and a curious heart. The same art that carried me all those years as a kid, and that can carry me today, for as long as I let it.