Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Shaking Off January

By Kelley Lindberg

Creativity. That fickle tease.

On the one hand, lately I’ve been feeling like my creativity has evaporated into the atmosphere and is never coming back. On the other hand, I was telling my son this afternoon that relationships are like building computers from scratch – before you take home a box of well-intentioned but random parts, you have to look at compatibility issues and meaningful features, you evaluate strengths, and you try a bunch of combinations to see what works and what doesn’t for you.

Yeah, that’s pretty creative, right? Finding a way to reach my geek-boy on his own terms?

Then I sit down at the computer and the words go all blue-screen-of-death on me.

I blame January, of course. Here we are, 187 days into the first month of the year (yes, it really is that long of a month), and I am growing very, very tired of the color gray. Gray sky. Gray snow. Gray air. Gray trees. Gray people.

I need color. I need vibrancy. So I took to the internet. Yeah, I know. But I did.

I searched “poetry and technology” and found what I needed. Young people ranting. Old people musing. Pro and con. Con and pro. Passionate. Articulate. Profoundly angry. Disillusioned. Defensive. Supportive.

And all of them always, always creating something new about something new from the same old raw materials—words.

So sit back on your heels, January. I refuse to spend the rest of you moping around in a gray haze. The English language is curling around me like T.S. Elliot’s yellow-fog cat, and I think it’s time to scratch its ears and make it purr.

(Want a taste of what I found on my internet inspiration-hunt? Try this one on for size: “Touchscreen” by Marshall Davis Jones.)