The role of creative endeavour in one’s life and happiness is what I’ve been thinking about (among millions of other things of course) in the last few days. My work life is, like for many other people too, stress/frustration/anxiety -inducing, on some days more than on some others, and I have to actively come up with new ways to deal with the fact, if I can’t always change the elements in my work that cause aforementioned bad vibes. I started, after a break of a month and a half, another creative writing course, for the reason that I need to allocate a time and a place to writing to push myself to regularly write. Writing is enjoyable when I get to it, but I don’t often seem to get to it, because of lack of energy, increase of stress, general life admin getting in the way, insert other reasons here. What I find now is that writing really helps me in two ways. It helps me to articulate the vague mush in my head one might refer to as ‘thoughts’ but in reality is sometimes more like badly scrambled egg void of any red thread. When I verbalize the mush onto paper it becomes defined, through the rules of language, and this definition creates a reality. I notice for example, through writing, what elements at work worry me the most, and what that might say about myself as a person (meaning, what kind of work might best suit my kind of an individual). This is very useful. Of course, the mere verbalization of one’s own thoughts is often not enough. It is rather a stepping stone to a conversation with another, about those thoughts and what they say about possible issues/challenges that one faces. A problem, a challenge, is a very good starting point for a conversation. I hate platitudes and talking about mundane everyday facts eg. ‘I found that I can pay less for my home insurance if I switch to insurance company x’ or ‘The carrots in my local supermarket are tastier than in the one near my work’. Fuck carrots and insurance, respectively.
I digress. The other point about writing is delightful to me. When I write, I manage to tap in to a side of my cognition I seldom get to utilize at work. It’s the surreal, absurd, Pihla examining the strangeness of existence through a rainbow-coloured magnifying glass kind of side. I let words loose and they form all kinds of new combinations that do not have to follow any kind of rule-book or law. At work, I work with rules, restrictions, bureaucracy and laws all the time and find them immensely tiresome. When I write, the world is mine to mold and observe however I like. The result is a poem, a short story, or three. And completing a creative task for me is always an instant feel-good experience of achievement, especially potent as I feel I have achieved something in a field of life I benefit to cultivate. I know I long to utilize this part of me and should, because it benefits my well-being (and I guess I think I might also not be completely shit at it).
Why does art exist and why should museums and galleries be open and funded even when people are starving, cold and homeless? I feel conflicted every time I go to a museum and see the world displayed on a canvas that cost the organisation thousands or millions that could have been ‘better spent’ on feeding the poor etc other noble causes. Is art a necessary part of any functional community/society? Is creativity essential and necessary to the sustainment of one’s spirit, and life? I guess the answer might be yes. What keeps me going through strife? People are essential, but I am a people too. Remembering myself and my unique needs to express myself are very necessary too. Not everyone needs to become a professional artist, but I fare better when I dedicate a portion of my life-pie to that magical dimension where I summon indescribable things into description, to think about what it is to be human.