Monday, May 02, 2005

Where did it go?

Where did my creative drive go?
I remember when I couldn’t wait to get home – to get in front of the computer (an old, second-hand one with the “floppies” that were really floppy). All I wanted to do was write my stories – spill them onto the “page” – or rather, the screen.
I thought about that yesterday as I watched “Project Greenlight” on Bravo – The Making of the Movie ‘Feast.’ I was fascinated by the drive and vision of the director, John Gulager. I empathized with the screen writers’ angst over constant and budget-driven revisions. The entire process of making that movie held me spellbound.
I was green with envy. I wanted to be doing something that creative – that all-consuming.
I once had it. But it’s gone and I feel empty inside. Cold.
The Fire in the Belly. The need to create – to “do art” as my artist-nephew Chris calls it.
Chris is always in paint-spatter mode. Chris will stay up all night, painting, sculpting, wrapping chicken wire around lumber, feeding the fire in his belly – letting it burn bright. Chris is also 30 years younger than his auntie.
Chris’s auntie thinks more often of the practical, than the creative. She thinks of her 401K, her disability insurance, her healthcare. If auntie didn’t have her health insurance, her drugs would cost her $300 a month. But then if auntie had a job that fed the fire in her belly instead of stress, maybe she wouldn’t need the pills for high blood pressure.
Gulager, the director who won the right to direct Project Greenlight’s winning screenplay, is in his forties – older than Chris – but still with the fire – still with a creative vision.
Maybe mine isn’t lost. Maybe I just have to look for it. Maybe I have to recognize it when it calls to me.
Maybe that little nagging in the pit of my stomach – the little voice that says, “There’s something better out there for you” – maybe that’s the embers of the fire.
And maybe, just maybe, I better start fanning those embers.


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