As a creative being, you are a builder of worlds. What kind of world do you want to build? Eric Maisel asked my creativity coaching group this question this week, and you could answer it too if you want.
I listened to Annie Lennox in a PBS broadcast per chance tonight while on a break from planting seeds in my parents’ garden. She was recorded in a live concert doing her most recent album of covers, and she ended with two of her older pieces.
why am I mentioning this? because it just so happened that I needed a piece of myself I had almost forgotten to come wailing up at me from the tangled corridor of my life, wearing Annie’s face and screeching with angelic ardor not my own but not not my own at the same time. And the words she was singing--no the word she was refraining from singing-- was why. She didn’t have to sing it. We knew it. We could hear it inside ourselves. And I wasn’t the only one brought to tears; wet tears, the kind you don’t try to hide. The kind that are rekindling world-building desire.
The world I want to build as an artist is so much like the one we already live in you almost cannot tell the difference except that it’s also the opposite, a bit like the chapel you can make with your hands then flip and see the people inside, all the fingers wagging. Fingers people, knuckles chapel, same thing, different. This question is such an excellent question it hurts to maintain it and it hurts to try to answer it. For now, I will leave it at this: I don’t know. I learn by going, I learn by doing, and I never know who is knocking on my door, only that I want them in with such ferocity, I have to set a timer to cool down, change clothes and persona to become the one they are waiting for, become overcome with sudden inexplicable dread, look out the window, watch them leaving, then grow the kind of wings that will let me catch them before it’s too late and before I have a chance to recompose my face.
Another go at answering, in a no-brainer fashion.
I want a wetter world. i want to lubricate the world so that the joins mesh and wiggle. In particular the join between body mind needs lube and I want people to play with how they partner these macrocosms. I want to build the kind of world where surprise is expected and people often provide them for themselves. I want to build a world made of unicorn hoofs--not separated from the unicorns!! unicorns must be live, fiesty, willful, and true! I want to build a world made of home made bread too hot to handle crafted from the softest, fleshiest childhood dreams, cultivated daily since birth in the sourdough method: take out and feed in in a continuous chain of culture, exchange of new oxygens with motherboard subconscious selected fantasia. To eat well from that, by your own hands. I want to build a world cram full of powerful, not empowered, people of every kind of face, body, style, smell, and sashay. Powerful people, loving powerful animals and forces of nature unbridled. Powerful people! People so full of themselves and so receptive to one another that we can be still. we can listen. we can watch. we can do nothing. we can sit down and grow next to a tree or build a world--but not because it would improve the world--no. but because we feel called by the lust of life to do so. I want to build a world where our vulnerability is exposed and we are invited to challenge each other and challenge expectations. A world where we can actually appreciate how fucking ridiculously cool it is to be alive, to have a sack of skin holding us in, to have the kind of casseroles that live inside our noggins crammed with exquisitely unique experiences and materia and dinosaur teeth and scum and folded grandmother lace and nails and literature and hormones. I want to lay bare the poetry of being. that’s the world I want to show; I’m not sure it needs building but revealing--craftily.
I want to speak to the god in people, because it is the god in people which dances.