Friday, February 19, 2010

Creating Something That Counts

"Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted."

***Albert Einstein

Is this worth doing? Are there better ways I could be spending my time? I frequently contemplate these questions when I begin a post. I think I know the answers to these questions, but when I yammer about fried pies or cooking under the hood of my car or hairy chests or beards or tequila or jalapeno sorbet or Elvis or Sriracha popcorn, I question my sanity and the value of blogging.

Here's the deal: As I get older, the tick tock of time passing grows louder, so how I spend my time matters even more. Over the next few weeks in a series of posts I'm going to explore my reasons for blogging. I'm sure this will result in a yammering of words that will disintegrate into the vapors of space, but I'm doing it nonetheless.

I mainly blog because I feel the urge to create. I don't know the origins of this urge, but I've always felt it. From reading blogs, I know that others have this feeling. What's the value in creating? I guess that question merits its own series of posts, but today I'll offer you one reason provided by Kurt Vonneut in his book A Man Without a Country:

The arts are not a way to make a living. They are a very human way of making life more bearable. Practicing an art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow, for heaven's sake. Sing in the shower. Dance to the radio. Tell stories. Write a poem to a friend, even a lousy poem. Do it as well as you possible can. You will get an enormous reward. You will have created something.

I'm not the most talented or intelligent or interesting person in world. A lot of what I create is shit. Despite this I'll continue to create because If I don't I'll be an unhappy, angry, bitter person, and I think the world needs fewer of these folk.

What do you like to create?

striving to create something that counts,


PS. . . This weekend I'm going to hear This American Life host Ira Glass speak, and I'm sure he'll provide me with a few more reasons to justify the act of blogging.


Jane said...

First of all, I must say that your blog is one of my absolute favorites. Your "urge to create" results in some mighty fine reading for me, and I thank you for that!

For me, as a musician, I often struggle with similar questions. Is all the time and effort I've put into practicing over the years really worth it? I'm not the most talented or dedicated flutist in the world, and I often wonder if my life would have more purpose if I had chosen to study something else. I do know, however, that I haven't played (or taught) much at all over the last three years and have consequently felt like a huge part of me has been missing. I think it's about time to go and find some students...

Thanks for inspiring me to get off my lazy butt and try.

Jenni said...

I agree with the Vonnegut quote except that rather than making life just bearable, I think practicing an art helps give life meaning. Making art of our own and experiencing the art of others helps us understand who we are and how we fit into the world. It's how we make sense out of this life and find joy in it. It's how we deal with anger, sorrow, and pain and turn again to joy. I don't think it's the least bit strange for us to have the desire to create built within us. I think that is part of the connection we have with our Creator, the original and master artist.

JoAAAnna said...

I'm glad I found your blog. I wish I had a talent at ...something...

I discovered too late about Ira in L-town. I will not make this mistake again. My favorite day is Tuesday. I get to visit my mom and on the way home I get to listen to the rerun of TAL. Driveway moments indeed.

Anonymous said...

I think its just plain probability that would lead one to believe that the perfect sentence, the perfect metaphor, a photograph of a sunrise that has never been seen before or since, all of these more than likely exist not in a library or a collection of the great works or man or on a rich person's wall, but tucked away on someone's blog, a page that got maybe four hits, and that was quickly moved to the bottom of the page by the next day's musings. Nothing wrong with that.