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Sweatpants & Creativity | Making Space to Create

By Jerusha Gray

I need to make something.

I need to make something right now.

This isn’t a passing whim or indulgence. This is a bred-in-my-bones, bleed-on-the-paper need.

Making things keeps me human and able to connect to life outside my limbs.

I’ve been trying to get into that place in my head where the cacophony of all things is muted.

I have people to reach out to, and projects to finish. I have pain in my back and in my arthritic hands. There is a little boy and a little girl who desperately need my attention. I have homework and housework and lifework and everything in between.

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The source from which I create is hungry and impatient. It sneaks by tidbits into my daily comings and goings, the spiritual equivalent of a sexy text message between thoughts. Remember me? I am over here. I’ve missed you. Come back to me and let’s make some magic together.

I should write about the effect of a fear-based culture on young girls.

Coffee is a form of love and communication in my family. Why don’t I write about that?

Do you see how the light is playing with the branches of that tree? I should totally paint that.

What about a novel involving a train?

Each of these ideas slide in quietly, assuming nothing. As quickly as they come they are gone again.  I can occasionally snag one back with the tips of my fingers and commit them to paper. Others are lost to the noise forever. I am so damned distractible.

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I should totally watch that cat video (or ten).

How about a nap? Napping is my superpower. I could win a gold medal in the napping Olympics.

Did you know that Bob Ross is on Netflix now? There goes the next week of my life.

Have I done my Macroeconomics homework? Oh, there is the painting that I started last week.

I should probably finish the article about women in politics that isn’t gelling.

Have I called my dad lately?

Oh crap, the bathroom is dirty again.

When was the last time the dog went out?

Who dumped cheerios all over the floor?

The narrative in this big ol’ head of mine is voracious and long-winded. These are not bad things. They are just life things. I am trying to learn how to do those things and this work too. How do I hold space for myself in order to allow these ideas to root rather than flee? How do I carve out moments where the rest of life, the good, the bad, the wondrous, peels away and waits for me? How do I wait for myself in the moment? I pride myself on being an attentive listener. How can I apply that same listening to myself?  I don’t know.

I want to make sweet, sweet love to the creative place in my brain.  This is the place where my peace dwells and spills into the other parts of my life.

For now, I have a cup of coffee steaming next to me.  Classical music is pouring into my headphones. My dog is asleep at my feet. Here I am, clicking away at the keyboard.

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Hello Heart,

It’s been a while.

It does me good to see you.

I’ve missed you deeply.

Want to make some magic?

Jerusha Gray

Jerusha Gray is insatiably curious. This curiosity, coupled with a brain that never shuts up, drives her to paint and draw, read prodigiously, make music, write, and sing in grocery stores.

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