By Elizabeth Cutright
© 2012 The Daily Creative Writer
Talking with friends over the weekend…about our creative efforts and our dreams of more time/energy/money/inspiration to pursue new avenues for expression.
Scratch beneath the surface and you’ll find that everyone has something else they’d rather be doing. I don’t mean sitting poolside with a fresh margarita and a handsome pool boy names Lars (what? Like that doesn’t sound like an awesome way to spend your afternoon?), or a shopping spree (Target for the win) or even the most perfect glass of wine (for those of you keeping count, my birthday is just around the…well, less than six months away…hint…hint).
I’m talking about how we’d rather be drawing instead of filling out Excel spreadsheets. I’d rather be trying to learn all of Fur Elise on the piano instead of sitting in endless meetings, listening to everyone else pat each other on the back for getting through the work week. Wouldn’t it be nice if you could learn to build that website, knit that scarf, or try out all those cool crafts you’ve put up on your Pinterest board?
But lets say…for the sake of argument…that what you really want to do is create something that, someday – maybe far in the future or maybe as quickly as five minutes after completion – somebody other than you might see. And what if they have an opinion on your creation? What if they judge you for what you’ve depicted, expressed or championed? What if they think your lame? Or weird? Or – worst of all – boring?
I believe we must be fearless in our creative expression. But I’m woman enough to admit that plenty I’ve times I’ve written an essay or a poem or a short story and wondered, afterwards, how I’d dared to ever put that out into the ether for other people (and my mother!) to see. And I’ll admit to self-editing on more than one occasion. Okay…on plenty of occasions.
Sometimes it’s just enough to stand on the precipice and contemplate that jump, but eventually we all either have take the leap – preferably with a running start – or head back down the mountain.
So which will it be? Cliff-diving writer/artist/photographer/creative? Or the “coulda-been-a-contender” sad sack trudging back down the garden path?
Today, I choose the cliff diving.
So here goes. Be kind. I wrote it a long time ago and its amateurish and strange, but such a delicate little thing.
Hopefully my tiny bit of afternoon fearlessness will inspire you.
A fingertip on a shoulder blade
Left bare to scented air,
Traces promises and apologies
Speaks volumes with quiet despair.
A fingertip on a rib cage
Stipped naked by heat and desire,
Sings poems and whispers questions
Waits for hope outside its fire.
A fingertip on a jawline
Sets landmarks and stakes claims,
Declaring muddled triumphs
Over a will he’s ready to tame.
A fingertip on a heartbeat
Marks time and the passing day,
Measuring moments like raindrops
Falling down on sun-parched clay.