I got a couple of emails questioning whether yesterday’s blog was really true. As if I could have made up that list of what I found on my desk. As if I would actually WANT to make it up.
I will say that that no one who knows me well expressed the slightest doubt that I was telling the truth.
I like to tell myself that a messy desk (or a messy anything) is the sign of a creative mind. There are people who disagree with this. In fact, there is some evidence that there are people far, far more creative than me, who manage to be neat and organized. I have no explanation for this. But I have to believe that the flip side of creativity is disorganization and clutter–otherwise there is no excuse for the state of my desk.
So if creativity is the light; clutter is the dark underbelly. Which also illustrates the perfect balance of the universe. God giveth, and God taketh away. You win some; you lose some. You get the good with the bad.
Life is like that. I hated every single person who wrote a book or article or told me personally that I would find something GOOD in something as BAD as cancer. Although I would NEVER tell a cancer patient what people told me, they all turned out to be right and I was wrong, because something good did come out of cancer for me–and it was creativity.
It’s not that I wasn’t creative before I had it. But about a year after my diagnosis, I started to undergo a creative flowering. Most of the creative flow was toward the visual arts–although lately it’s turned in a different direction.
A friend called me the other day–someone I don’t see or speak to very often. She was calling to tell me how moved she was reading my blog. Not any particular story, or any specific words. She meant the blog itself.
She described something she experienced years ago in upstate New York during the early spring; she was in an isolated area and suddenly heard a deafening sound like a huge explosion. The violent noise turned out to be the break-up of an ice-bound river–the water suddenly surging downstream, releasing all the pent-up energy of the river in a powerful and mesmerizing rush. This, she said, is what she sensed was happening with me and my blog.
Without ever discussing my writing, or even knowing me well, she had come up with a perfect analogy– that was not only intuitive and insightful, but described what I am feeling lately better than I could. I have never seen this happen; never seen a river burst from an icebound state, but I can imagine it: chunks of ice breaking off, sweeping the river and parts of the land along with it; pieces of limbs and branches and debris flung everywhere, maybe even fish.
A river break-up sounds exactly like a rush of creativity–absorbing and exhilarating, with lots of clutter coming along with it. So I say bring on the river and the current and all the debris. At least when I sit down to write, I’m lucky in one sense: one of the few things I didn’t find on my desk was a fish.