Life Stuff, Main Genre: Creativity, Philosophizing, posts, Reality, Self-Help, Truth, Wisdom

To Create or Not to Create: That is the Quarantine Question

Reading, watching movies, browsing artwork. Everyone has been drawn to enjoying creativity more than usual during these stressful times.

There’s also a lot of belief that creators should be creating even more during this period, since they’re staying at home more. It seems, though, that it’s not that simple. While some people are indeed creating more works of art and finally writing that book, a lot of creatives are more tired than inspired these days.

The important thing is to remember that if this is you, that’s okay. We won’t all, by default, go into some uber-creative mode where we start churning out bestsellers or masterpieces. In fact, the “collective sadness” that many are experiencing seems to be having the opposite effect.

Sure, people may have more time on their hands — especially if they are not working at the moment. The important thing to remember is that everyone has stress in a different form right now.

If you have been laid-off or furloughed, you obviously have a lot of financial stressors. Being out of a job and wondering what to do is hardly going to put someone in a good frame of mind for doing much of anything. It may give you time to work on creative projects, but if your mind is bogged down with a million things, it is not time to go into creative mode.

If you are still working, you have a different issue. You’re being expected to function normally when everything around you is falling apart. Your workplace may be pivoting, as many are, to address the current situations. If you have a job working with the public, you have new policies in place to keep social distancing in place — and it doesn’t help if you have to confront naysayers and force them to wear masks to keep everyone safe.

If you’re in healthcare, you obviously have it rough. In the midst of trying to save lives and possibly seeing people dying in front of you, you have people protesting because they can’t get a haircut.

The Return of Creativity

If you have been experiencing “momentary creative difficulties,” it will likely come back to you when you are ready. For me, it was a bit of inspiration to do an easygoing micro-fiction series on Instagram. It’s hard not to address Coronavirus, but it’s also not a headspace to always be in, so it helped to have a motivational twist to the stories that can be relevant at any time. Quotes and highlights from the series, “The Time-Traveling Photography Club,” will be posted here at a later time.

Yet even that did not come easily. It’s hard to do the all-day creative session now, and in fact, sleeping breaks seem, oddly, to help.

Don’t force yourself. Be gentle with yourself — because not only is life hard in general, right now, for some, it feels nearly impossible.













Animal Fantasy, Audio Readings, Fantasy, Main Genre: Adult Fable, posts, Truth

“The Cat and the Ice Cream Parlour” (an Adult Fable)

A cat eating ice cream

(Audio reading at end of text.)

In a small town, there lived a group of stray cats. The cats walked around at night and had fun until morning. They got along splendidly, for they were all decent, nice cats that liked each other’s company. They liked the same music that people played on the street in the evening. They liked finding the same scraps and would share them. They liked going to the same hill with flowers, which in the middle of night, smelled with soft beauty from the fading day.

There was a tabby cat, a cat with blotches, a gray cat and a cat named Speckles, who looked as her name described.

At night, when they talked cat talk under the moon, they could see the town from their view on the hill. They saw a fancy group of cats go every night into the ice cream parlour. They would sneak into a small hole on the side of the building and smush their way in its walls.

Gray Cat would say, “I bet they drink the milk. I heard the ice cream-selling humans worried because their bottles had been turned over, and they were empty.”

Speckles, however, looked upon the fancy cats in awe — and wanted to be their friend instead. There was a fluffy white cat with a gold collar, a smooth-haired black cat and one that looked sort of like a lion.

One evening, Speckles got brave and went up to Furry White Cat. “I like your collar,” said Speckles.

Furry White Cat sat and licked her paws. “My human got it for me. You probably don’t get to see gold collars at your house. Why don’t you come with us tonight, and you’ll see how real cats live?”

So Speckles did not go back to her old true friends on the hill. From that moment on, she vowed to be friends only with the fancy cats. They stole milk from the humans and said the milk outside wasn’t enough. They even put their heads in the ice cream tubs at the parlour and licked it up.

“This one’s bubble gum,” said Smooth-Haired Cat, of some blue ice cream. “It’s flavor of the month — and it is the cat’s pajamas.”

And as you can imagine, a cat saying “it’s the cat’s pajamas” is the highest compliment a cat can give (because they did not wear pajamas and coveted them in winter).

Eventually, the fancy cats got bored with Speckles and suddenly said she needs to find “cats of her own kind,” accusing Speckles of being boring.

Speckles walked back to the flowery hill with her head down. She saw only the flowers and the moon all night — she knew not that her old and true friends had all started gathering on a different hill.

Thus it happened that Speckles lost her old and true friends.

Moral: Be leery of those who befriend based on “flavor of the month.”