Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Creativity when the World Outside Feels Crazy

I realize that there are wars around the world. There are people who kidnap and kill and maim and torture on, probably, every day of the year, somewhere. Or nature releases another "event" which floods or carries away or explodes property and people and land. And I don't mean to say that it is only when terrible things happen near home that I notice. That is not true.

What is true is that sometimes, when horrible things happen and it's near home, I feel it at a different level or in a different way. Or I am struck with a renewed realization of the tentativeness of life, of the random possibility of something or someone outside disrupting life.

Whether it is grief I feel for completely unknown people in other countries or the knowledge, again, that the victim of a recent incident could have been a friend or neighbor or partner of someone I know - the feelings are powerful.

Yesterday there was a shooting at the Clackamas Town Center mall, which is a few miles from home. It is far enough away that I didn't feel my physical home nor neighborhood were in danger - and I was several miles in the opposite direction when I heard the news.

The shooting was one of the random acts. Because the shooter is dead, I don't suppose we'll ever know the real reasons. There will be speculation and guesses and experts putting together the pieces, trying to make sense of why two people were killed, another nearly killed (she is expected to survive, I read this morning), and unknown numbers hurts. The mall is closed today and people have important possessions left behind in the mall when it started and the police department assured people there will be a process for them to get back their belongings: baby strollers, medications, purses, purchases, and so on. But - unless the shooter left a note explaining everything, we will never know, really. And even with a note, there is probably more hidden away in his now dead brain.

A random act. People dead. More people hurt. Many more afraid and asking "why?"

Family and friends and employers/employees checking on each other. Police visibility is increased at all of the malls/major shopping areas now.

And this incident a couple of days after an 11-year-old boy and a 7-year-old boy with a loaded gun tried to rob a woman in a pickup truck. The boys were initially returned to their parents. Why? One of them immediately ran away but was chased down and again returned to his parents. Again, why? Then the following day the boy was taken into protective custody and the father arrested. Okay.

And more. I'm not going to recount the stories in the news which have impacted me in this last week. After yesterday's situation at the mall, and when the police said the shooter had been "neutralized" - which also bothered me, just tell us he's dead or in custody or something, but "neutralized"?, c'mon - I had to talk to my partner. Not because I thought she was in danger or hurt, but just because I wanted to hear her voice, to talk, to say, wow. Random.

In thinking about this further, I realized that how we can get through these things - whether it's these types of incidents at or near home, or in a country we've never touched - is to connect and to create. It's good that we have feelings and react - in appropriate ways. And using the power of the emotions to create is one way.

I also wanted to update the contact improvisation link in the sidebar. The one I have has been there a while and it's time for a new one.

In my search for a new video, I found this. Even if all you do is watch the opening dance improvisation part and skip the TedTalk, I hope it at least gives you a smile. I enjoyed watching the dance and listening to the giggles. And I enjoyed the talk, as well, it's a wonderful description of contact improvisation dance, with a demonstration at the end, as well.

Connection. Creative flow. Being present and in the moment. These are the things we need to write or dance or paint - for any creative endeavor. For getting through the emotional times.