It is December 19, 2018 as I write this, and I have been up since 4:16pm yesterday. Yes, this is a diary entry for those who care (myself, only!) and my own amusement. It has been, you see, quite some time since I last did a damned thing that I felt that was creative. And that’s ok.
Rest assured, dear reader, that I have been smelling a LOT of perfume though. A lot.
What is on my mind lately (as often and almost always) is creativity. I am in the middle of Elizabeth Gilbert’s book Big Magic. It’s in the vein of The War of Art, but it’s been tremendously more helpful to me. The War of Art mostly just made me feel guilty. Big Magic has been a very freeing experience.
You see, for years now, Years! I’ve been stewing about my creativity. How to do it, how to get noticed, how to get paid, how to get published. And not making really much at all.
Well, this August I went back to school. San Francisco, in it’s blessedly progressive politics, has created free fucking education for people who are residents here. Yes, that’s right. For the price of $29 which is a student activities fee, a health clinic fee, and some other dumb fee, I can take as many classes as my heart desires.
So I did.
I took four classes in child development, and let me tell you, as I experienced the exuberant joy and jubilation of turning in my last final (two days ahead of deadline, yassss!!!) I also experienced the deep satisfaction of having garnered a block, a body, a thing of knowledge, both measurable and felt. I know more about child development than I did before I started. It’s formalized, it’s recorded, and I feel good about it and confident. Of course, being in the field will be different, but for now, this feeling of accomplishment is joy.
What the hell does going back to school at thirty five have to do with perfume? I know you’re thinking this, dear reader. I know you are!
Creativity. I put it on hold after trying, and failing, at my hand in the business of selling my creativity. It failed spectacularly, but very quietly, as well. At the end of June this year, I realized that I could go back to school, very quickly get the requirements met in order to have a fulfilling career that would put a paycheck in my pocket, joy in my heart, and clothes on my back, and I could drop the hustle and the grind (failed, anyhow) of trying to sell my photographic services.
People all around me agree that my photography is lovely and beautiful, and I don’t blame them. It’s pretty fucking good, even if it’s not terribly original. But you know, life isn’t original. It’s all the same shit that humans have been doing for millenia, give or take language, costumes, and customs. It’s grand. It’s beautiful. It fulfills me and gives me joy. But I couldn’t make it pay the bills.
So I put it down, I put it on hold, so I could go do this thing to free up my mind, so that I wouldn’t be in constant anguish. “I’m not good enough, I’m a loser, I can’t xyz, zyx doesn’t happen for me.” Whatever, all that noise is gone. It got filled in with more than I ever want to hear about Piaget or Vygotsky again!!!
And in the meantime, just before school started, I picked up a book while on vacation, and dipped in and out of it, and thought “yeah, this sounds good. A creative life. I want one of those.”
So I’ve been taking contemporary dance classes, ballet, pilates, sleeping a lot (as per usual), sniffing perfumes, avoiding homework, and just, you know – living. And not worrying about it all. of. the. time.
And now the semester is over. Come mid-January, I will resume school, but with two classes, not four. I’ll be working, but to be honest, that’s so much easier than going to school. No deadlines, just gorgeous little bounces of light all around me in the form of preschool children.
And I picked up a copy of that book a few days before my finals were over. And it’s still sounding good. Ringing like a bell. Clarion call.
Put down the grief. Put down the guilt. Put it down. Don’t carry it with you anymore.
Enjoy your creativity.
Let it come to you. Trust it. Invite inspiration in. Make a date with it, and enjoy the act of creation for yourself.
Put it out into the world.
If people like it – fine. If they don’t – fine. If they hate it – fine. If they love it – fine. If they don’t even notice it – fine.
Just do it, but do it for yourself.
So here I am. Writing for myself. It’s really, really, really nice.
I have a dream. I’d like to collect up my reviews and put them into a book where people can read them and drool over the photos. I don’t really exactly know how this will work, but I would like it to.
I like to be snarky and kind of mean if I want to, but then I feel kind of bad, because I know that real, living, breathing people with feelings created the thing I hate, and I’m SAYING IT. They made me feel something though, and I think, beyond doing art for one’s self, that is a really great outcome. So I’m just gonna say what I have to say (as usual) and so on and so forth. That said, don’t Luca Turin and Tania Sanchez come off as REAL ASSHOLES?! Yeah, they do. But funny assholes. Funny.
I think I just want you to KNOW that if I sound like them, it’s not on purpose. My wit and shit is all my own. And I acknowledge the assholery and the pathos of despising someone else’s art. And that this thought is like, whatever.
So, that’s it.
I’ve been in fucking LOVE with Houbigant’s latest release by Jean Claude Elena. Can that man do no wrong? I mean, probably he can. Some of his stuff is boring, some of it is abrasive, but still, he can do no wrong. I think that Essence Rare is the fucking shit.
It comes out of the bottle, BLASTING iris at you. The iris never leaves. It lingers on clothing for days. Beyond a week, even. There’s a hit, about five to ten seconds later, of lily of the valley. Damn. It’s a lady’s perfume. It could be my mother’s perfume, but it’s MINE. ALL MINE. Later, there is a sweet creaminess that I’m chalking up to sandalwood and some other delicious stuff, but I haven’t really sat with to figure it out. Whatever is going on in there, it’s amazing. It’s great. It’s wonderful.
If you haven’t spent five or ten years sniffing perfumes, and can’t appreciate iris or LOTV, it’s probably not for you. You’re probably not ready yet. But you might be one day, so I suggest you go give this thing a sniff and badger the sales associate for a sample while you’re at it.
I bought a bottle during the Black Friday sale at Neiman Marcus, and though I may be a broke-ass bitch right now, I don’t regret it one bit. Not a whit.
Smell ya later.