Our family has two events this weekend, and in a funny way they're related. They're both rooted in the basic human instinct of creative play. The event on May 8th, which I wrote about in my last blog (and which I'll update here) is a display of creativity in several of its many forms, dance, music, acrobatics, and visual art. The second event, on May 10th, is a discussion of the process of creating by Adolph and me at the Urban Ecology Center. The title is "Does my left brain know what my right brain's doing?" And a follow-up question might be: Do I WANT it to know?
Adolph and I have different approaches to talking about creativity, though basically our process is the same. I can't merely say to my left brain, "Stop monitoring, let the dream side take over." It might not cooperate! So I'll discuss how I go about getting into the creative flow. And how that flow has gone about changing me.
Adolph, on the other hand, who's always right-brained, in fact was born that way, will talk about what his thoughts are when he works. He's focused on what is happening, about his relationship to his subject. Whether it's a person, a house, a tree, or a cow, he wants to capture its spirit.
Of course we are all born to play and to create, but what happens on the way to adulthood? Most parents and teachers squelch these instincts and overload kids with rules. School systems all over the country, including here in Shorewood, have cut back on the arts, have forgotten that creative play is the best learning tool.
None of us who set the date noticed that May 10th is Mothers Day, but mothers and children are welcome! Here are the details: URBAN ECOLOGY CENTER, 1500 E. Park Place, Sunday, MAY 10, 1:30-3:00 PM, creativity presentation by Adolph & me in conjunction with our show, "Treescapes, Seascapes, Lagoons, Lake," which will be on display until the end of June.
And here are additional details for the May 8th Dragonwood Benefit: On Friday, May 8th, 6 PM-1 AM, the entire building at 181 North Broadway will come alive. Featured acts are:
7:15 Chinese acrobatic dancers
8:15 Tibetan dancers
9:15 Fashion Show
Featured animals are Moo-Shu the endangered Chinese alligator (who, by the way, does NOT live in Milwaukee) and two rare Tibetan temple dogs
Musicians are Sling and Ken Grant on his electric violin.
Visionaries are Lina Letendre, palmist, and Barbara Kruck, animal totem reader.
Food and beverages are donated by Bella's, Soup's On, The Palms, and Pizza Shuttle.
Three words in a book I read over fifty years ago have followed me around ever since: “vivre ou raconter” from Sartre’s LA NAUSEE, “live or tell stories.” I wasn’t a writer in 1957, was spending my junior year at London School of Economics and was more into the vivre than the raconter.
In a sense, my life hasn’t changed. Then I traveled, sometimes alone, in Europe and North Africa.
These days I travel through Shorewood, Milwaukee, New York City, occasionally further. Wherever it is, it’s an adventure, and I’m still more interested in vivre, though I do a lot of raconte. Sartre’s dart hit the heart of the matter. The more I do, the less time I have to write about it, and ideas depart, or scatter, never to come back together.