Life is the Real Creative Process

Christie and Rosemerry on creativity and living in difficult chapters

These sunflower and larkspur petals with carrot fronds were left on Rosemerry’s doorstep by a friend after hearing that Rosemerry’s son had died.

Preview: Episode 50 on Creativity in a Time of Upheaval

In the past, we’ve done an episode with Kim Langley on creativity as a tool for meeting grief. But this week’s episode (released 9/16/21) meets grief and creativity from the other side--we explore how an established creative practice might prepare you for an unexpected time of grief.

There is no easy way to say this. On August 14, 2021, Rosemerry’s son Finn chose to take his own life. Two weeks before that, Christie’s father had a debilitating stroke that has thrown her family into a state of limbo. At the end of August, Christie and Rosemerry went for a hike together, and Rosemerry asked, What have you noticed about your relationship to creativity in this time of upheaval? A couple weeks later, we decided to record a new version of that conversation. We talk about uncertainty and tenderness, showing up and noticing, a resistance to setting the story into language while the story is still changing so quickly, and how life itself is the real creative act.

What We’re Reading and Listening to:

In our bonus episode (which goes out to paid subscribers on Sept 23), we share the music and poems that have been sustaining us in these weeks of heartache.

Lesson from the Ouzel

--Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer

Sometimes I want to be anywhere but here,
but today, I let myself feel it all.

I go to the river covered in ice,
and move along the bank until

I find the open places where the dark-feathered ouzel
chooses to submerge in the cold, cold water—

It doesn’t hesitate to plunge into frigid depths.
It knows it was made for this.

Note: I wrote this poem earlier this year, but recently I’ve recast the last line in my thoughts: "I was made for this.” It’s been a powerful refrain as I meet each moment, as I let myself “feel it all.”

A Note About Paid Subscriptions:

First, we want to thank ALL our subscribers! We are so grateful you join us in this conversation about what it is to engage with yourself, the world and others in a creative way. And a BIG thank you to our paid subscribers. You make this podcast possible. Starting this month, only our paid subscribers will receive our bonus episodes as a thank you for their financial support. If you are not yet a paid subscriber, you can go now to our website, or by clicking the button below. Thank you!

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Two Questions:

(share your answers with us here on Substack or in our FB group)

  1. What parts of your creative practice sustain you in difficult times?

  2. How do you notice that your life itself is a creative act?