My dog, George, wants my attention. When he discovers that I’m occupied, he makes an old man groan and goes over to the window to look out over the back yard, his personal domain. There has been a trio of opossums out back this morning, resulting in George having to stay in as opposed to roaming around out there. I know it frustrates him, but I’d rather not have to try to either pry a dead opossum away from him, which would result in me bleeding, or have to take him to the vet because he’s been chewed on by the opossum. Either way doesn’t seem positive so George is staying inside today. He’ll get his afternoon walk, but he’s not going out back until I’ve seen evidence of their departure.
Classes have ended for the semester at the community college where I’ve been teaching. I decided that this was my last semester teaching there. There’s no opportunity for advancement and I’m tired of teaching essentially the same three classes over and over again, which has been the case for the past six years that I’ve taught there. I have occasionally had the opportunity to teach a creative writing or literature course when the full time faculty can’t, but it doesn’t happen often and between that and the abysmal pay check I find it time to move on.
I’m a creative type through and through, which when combined with my personality, tendency toward ADD and various other things, leads to needing to have a certain element of change in my life from day to day. I don’t thrive in situations that are repetitious, such as the one noted above, and when they are I feel like I’m stagnating which quickly leads to losing interest in the project, work, or whatever it is I’m engaged in. This is one of the reasons why I work best as a musician when I’m dealing with multiple projects simultaneously; it builds variety into the workplace and I’m able to shift focus in a way where I don’t lose interest.
I’m also a bit odd when it comes to my creative expression. This is closely tied to my tendencies toward being both an introvert and, to an extent, an extrovert. I seem to function at my best musically when I’m working on projects with other musicians, particularly from a performance perspective, and I creatively feed off the interplay between the musicians in producing the resulting performance. However, when it comes to writing, my other means of creative expression, it’s something that I need to do alone, preferably in a quiet environment with few opportunities for distraction. This doesn’t mean that I don’t want to be involved in sharing with a community of writers or workshopping what I’ve written in order to get feedback, because I love that aspect of being a writer. What it does mean, however, is that when I am actually writing, I need that alone time otherwise I can’t get it done.
My blogs are a direct outgrowth of both of my interests, writing and music, and a way to work together the two aspects of my creative life in a way that makes sense. I’ve tried various ways to combine both of my major interests together. Originally I thought about songwriting as a means to do so, but found that while I am, upon occasion, good at writing poetry, that is not the case when it comes to writing song lyrics, so the blog seems to be one area where I can combine both interests well. When it comes down to it, in both areas what has really always excited me most is working with ideas, hammering them into shape and presenting them to the outside world. This has manifested itself in various types of writing, performing in different genres of music, and finding myself teaching both music and writing in one way or another.
So here I am once again down at the crossroads, not to make the proverbial deal, but rather to try to decide which fork in the road to take. I have come to the conclusion that while it might not be the most environmentally friendly route, I’m taking neither fork. What I need to do is not take the road most or less traveled, to borrow from Robert Frost, but instead make my own road and move on from there; so that’s what I’m doing and where this rambling monologue is going, a commitment to the creative life and acceptance of what goes along with it. There will be more on this and my usual topics in future blogs. Right now it’s time to start building, but first, a few minutes for George.