The Creative Epiphany – Evidence of Wildness

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Staff Photo by Richard Cowen, Woodland Park, NJ

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Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

Everyone has  a little Wild streak in them. Some people lovingly nurture it land others find it cause for concern. Really? How could anyone find Wildness threatening? I think Wildness is one of your best friends in your entire bag of tricks. She will take you far on a gloomy day – well, any fine day too. She will show up instantly sometimes, triggered by some tiny thing, and then you can ride her until darkness and maybe even beyond. She will teach you things about yourself that you never knew.

When the Wild child rears up in my spirit and my mind, adrenaline flows. I strive to keep it alive and kicking for as long as is practical, because it feeds my artistic soul and also because it keeps me ageless. Anything that you are able to experience in your life-long existence that helps erase age barriers for you is a rare and golden treasure. Hang on to that stuff.

If you were here I would ask what those Wild things are for you – the things that you enjoy doing that make you forget your age and any other raggedy old irrelevant hang-ups you might be carrying around with you like a child with a worn out blankey.  You need a bucket list of resources to go to when you need to value each and every minute of the days of your life and remind yourself why you are glad you are alive. Stayin’ alive. Still alive and a little bit Wild.

I believe that your creativity is largely dependent upon your ability to stay Young and Wild and Free. How many really grumpy old people do you know who have shriveled up and stamped out any smoldering ember of Wild fire in their souls? We all know some of those. And you don’t necessarily have to be old and grumpy for that to happen. Please let’s not allow that to happen to us.

These Wild things work for me:

Certain music can transform me back to eras when I did not even have to try to capture Wildness….it was always there, because every single day was new uncharted territory for me, as if I was a wondrous babe in the green woods and it was all dripping dew of possibility. Come to think of it, the entire 4 years of college was like that for me, music and all…. all of it. A 4 year Wild streak.

Riding a Harley with that special person feels nice and Wild to me.

Watching animals in their natural habitat. Seeing Wildness au natural.

Leaving on a trip or an adventure.

Painting and writing often set off my Wild nature, because there is such complete freedom in those pursuits.

Of course there are others….and I thought I would include an experience that I had just this morning, purely unexpected and thoroughly fascinating, just in case you might be interested. It set the tone for the entire day and now here I am writing about it.

I was out walking around the big mile-long loop of the open space central park area of Palomino Park, south of Denver, the community where I now live, at 7:45 am. I see these two animals tearing around in circles right where the soccer fields are – they look like scraggly dogs from a distance but when I get to within 20 yds of them I see they are coyotes, there in broad daylight. A couple of people and I stopped to watch them because it was an amazing thing to see – obviously young, lanky legged and skinny, but probably old enough to mate – running and playing just like my dog used to do with his friends. They were oblivious to the people watching them, making big wide circles at breakneck speed and then tumbling over each other – playing chase and tackle. Then one of them runs right into the orange net behind the soccer goal and gets all wrapped up in it and starts frantically thrashing around for three  minutes or so, and we all sort of panic, grabbing for our sell phones to call animal control but then he/she gets untangled and the two continue their play. We all watched for 15 or 20 minutes when they finally ran off to the high grassey area around the duck pond and the pool – I think they must have an underground den in there because they totally disappeared. Right into the underground of a very populated area…..where little kids play long into the dusk and people walk teeny little hors d’oeuvre size doggies. Pretty incredible way to begin my day.

It was a little glimpse of Wild, but enough to want more. I think I’ll go paint now.

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The Creative Epiphany – Knowing Eachother

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As a writer it is difficult to remain silent about the news in times such as these. So much is being said, much is being spewed in anger, and of all that is expressed so little makes any sense. By adding my voice to the fray I run the risk of being as irrelevant as many of the others but I am willing to take that risk because I absolutely cannot stifle myself. I will be brief.

In the USA we have so much freedom – so much that we often hang ourselves because of it. Everyone can go about their business, whatever that might be, unnoticed and unaccounted for. People want to come here for the freedoms we offer, and then they sometimes put it to use in ways it was never meant to be tested. Our legislators can’t figure out how to work together in the common cause of regulating weapons and the voices of our citizens apparently no longer count. Don’t you think that many of our so-called representatives in Washington are, in the privacy of their minds, heaving a sigh of relief that the Boston massacre was not accomplished with guns? It is more fuel for their way of rationalizing all violence to place this particular violence  in a category which is nearly impossible to legislate or prevent. Who would imagine a pressure cooker would be put to this use? Only the most brutal of minds.

Who are these angry people? How does a mind get from normal to mass murderer?

The seeds for radical violence can be planted at any time of life – a child can be sweet and respectful for many years and then seem to “turn bad” in a matter of months, with disastrous results, based upon some ideology that was recently adapted. When that happens, and that young person’s apartment is found to be a bomb factory, or a weapon factory, or a gun warehouse, or headquarters for a grand plan of mayhem thus revealing  a second, secret, sinister life, I have to wonder where the family was during this development? Sometimes these children actually live at home but their parents have given them the privilege of eminent domain when it comes to their own bedrooms….even though everyone is under the same roof! In the case of the Boston brothers, I imagine that the aunt or the father and mother, as astonished and in denial as they seem to be, had not visited the boys in their own environments for a long time. There would have been clues there.

It really does take a village of people to be aware and cognizant enough to notice when neighbors, friends and “nice kids” are purchasing bomb making equipment, guns, knives and other tools of war. Many trips to the hardware store for instance, purchasing items that do not seem congruous with a college student’s life, might be a big clue. Smiling faces and friendliness do not insure anything anymore – people often quite good at living double lives. Our daily business is now everyone’s business. Privacy is no longer an excuse. Freedom does not extend to a license to kill and injure. Families must monitor their family members – money sent generously to young adult children for tuition and support may be money that is funding terrorism. People need to step forward and report what they see as suspicious even if the person in question is a relative. If you take the time to truly engage a person in conversation you might notice a shift in belief or attitude that indicates a deeper problem. If no one has bothered to check in on a relative or friend in a long time, that is negligent and irresponsible. People need to keep in better touch and know eachother. It all begins at home in the neighborhoods where we live. The FBI cannot be everywhere all the time, and our best eyes and ears belong to eachother.