Awhile back — you remember, that week when I was awash in Gallic testosterone (or at least trying to be, see Scenic Tour) — I introduced you to Jennifer Nigam (Jenny Kissed Me), one of the very talented members of The Write Stuff. I hope you loved her poem Commitment as much as I did.
This week, I’d like you to meet another of the wonderful artists who make the third Thursday of each month so inspiring — and entertaining. Layne Taylor is a fabulous writer who is in the process of publishing an incredible children’s book — between the labor pains of her long-awaited blog. It appears “refusal to give birth” is contagious :-).
At one of our recent get-togethers, Layne shared an essay — Uncreating — that gave me a lot to think about as I rolled onto the floor laughing. Enjoy!
I still have a small crate, labeled with the name of now defunct record store and filled with a hundred or so of my favorite 45’s. Note for you non-Boomers out there: 45’s are the ancient equivalent to mp3 files, made of vinyl, one song on each side, about the size of a personal pan pizza, with a large hole in the center which required an adapter in order to play on the turntable. Turntables will be covered another day.
As I flipped absent-mindedly through my box of circular treasures, I came across one in particular that made me smile. Sometime during my college days, I had inspired a young man to write a song about me. He actually had it recorded and pressed onto a disc which he presented to me. I was touched by the gesture, but not so much by the composer. The record that made me smile was the one he presented to me a few months later entitled, “Why Did I Ever Write You a Song”.
As I reminisced about the events, I suddenly remembered that this was not a unique occurrence in my life. At another time, while I was still in college, one of my cast mates in a theater production honored me with a poem extolling my virtues. Shortly before the show closed, he presented me with another well-crafted verse, essentially conveying the message that he was mistaken and I was just like all the others. Hmmmmm. In hindsight, I imagine that I should take pride in being able to inspire such diverse creativity, but it’s a hollow pride. It’s kind of like the dubious credit I took for inspiring one suitor to return to his estranged wife and another to realize that he actually liked men. But I guess inspiration is inspiration regardless of the end result.
I felt a little twinge of sadness as I thought about those who had come to regret something they had created, especially something created from a place of inspiration. Anything created brings a value to life and adds to the fabric of the universe. Passing judgement on that creation fails to honor the creative spirit that brought it to life. And I know we’ve all done it; deemed a poem not fit to share or a meal not fit to serve. But it’s the creative spirit we must celebrate and not the thing created. Like the toothpaste that cannot return to the tube and the bell that cannot be unrung, once creation happens, it cannot be uncreated. I looked up “uncreate” to see its definition, or if it even had one; to deprive of existence, to annihilate. Although I comprehend the words, I still believe that to uncreate is not a possibility. Energy spent cannot be returned. An idea brought into form exists forever. Regret if you must the fallen cake, the poor rhyme, or the unrequited love song, but never abandon the spark and the power that inspired them. Create, create, and create again – for it is in the creation that we find ourselves.
Thanks so much, Layne, for allowing me to share your work — and for being one of my tax season 911 rescuers! If you’d like to hear more from Layne and several other very talented writers, come join us at The Write Stuff. Whether your masterpiece is merely a twinkle in your eye or — like my novel and Layne’s blog — held captive somewhere in the birth canal, we’d love to have you. Write Stuff offers a nurturing and supportive cocoon in which writers of all genres can let their creativity blossom and grow. For meeting details contact our fearless leader Mary DiVincenzo (firstname.lastname@example.org) or me (email@example.com).
Now back to my 1040s …