When Creative Goes Crazy

Jamie in the berry garden

What is it about the garden that restores my equilibrium? Is it the food growing all around me, the nematodes (or something) in the soil, the sun on my head, the wind in my face, the dirt beneath my fingernails? Or all of the above?

We had a whirlwind two-week trip to Lincoln, NE and Rapid City, SD where we saw bunches of family, went to the 70th reunion of The Black Hills Playhouse in Custer State Park, worked on our little “apartment” in Rapid, and did a Constellation Workshop with an amazing group of people. And on the Korah and Kelsey at the Badlandslong hauls we transported our two beautiful twin teen granddaughters who were graciously willing to be crammed into the backseat of a car and read for ten hours.

I came back, how shall I say? All used up. And then I had to dive into three straight days of contracted work and catch up. By last weekend all I could do was crawl into the garden and pull grass and weeds. I was literally on my knees to the earth.

And then, the earth did what she always does . . . she started to restore me. It was hot and windy, and I sweated out all that stress and weariness and then began to fill up again. When I got too hot, I drove over to Cass Lake and jumped in and just laid on my back and stared at the sky.

Today Milt and I were talking about how easy it is to let your creative side go crazy. Between work and our building and gardening projects, we have just about maxed out our capacity. I think back to when we were talking about moving up here and dreaming about lazing through each summer swimming and gardening and picking berries and hanging out with family. We do a lot of that, too, but it begins to feel like a squeeze.

During supper we were discussing why we have stacked so much onto our plate (and I’m not talking about the salad bar). We were really too tired to be having such a conversation—relationship rule #1—don’t talk serious stuff when you’re beat. However, some of the ideas that floated up had negative connotations—is it because you get kudos from others when you are a crazy creative doer? Is it because the fear of not enough (money, time, life span etc.) drives you to want to do it all at once? Is it because you underestimate how long something will take to complete? All good questions—when you are fully rested.

So, we came back from having dinner in a nice waterfront restaurant and both fell asleep for two hours. When I got up I put my gloves on and went back to finish weeding the strawberries. Once again, I am sitting on the ground plucking small green bits out of dark soil and feeling content and thinking about the earlier conversation.

Humming BirdI did have one other idea about why we stack. We just like all that life has to offer. We have what Larry LeShan would call “zest” for what we do. Milt has multiple very cool production projects going, and I have stretched out into doing more organizational systems work. It is all so incredibly engaging how could we not want to do it? And of course we are obsessed with building with bales.

Do I wish we were 20 years younger? Sometimes. Do I get to choose? No. Will I do this until I drop? Probably.

What’s not to love about a life like this?

One final note—this is the last days before our Builders and Makers Festival begins on Friday. We still would like others to join us for a two-day “builders” event where we will be constructing and earth plastering a new straw bale building. Sunday will be a loose and sitting-in-the-shade with cool people metals jewelry workshop. Just drop whatever else you were going to do and come and join us. Go to www.manykites.com for more details or just call me if you want to come.

Another final note. I am trying to retrain myself to only put one space between sentences. My neural networks are firmly in place for two spaces reaching all the way back to 10th grade typing class. I’d like to know who the heck decided only one space was necessary!! The best solution I’ve found is to do what I always do and then do find/replace and replace two spaces with one. Crazy!

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