The bottom line: if you want a happier family, create, refine and retell the story of your family’s positive moments and your ability to bounce back from the difficult ones. That act alone may increase the odds that your family will thrive for many generations to come.
There is at the back of every artist’s mind something like a pattern and a type of architecture. The original quality in any man of imagination is imagery. It is a thing like the landscape of his dreams; the sort of world he would like to make or in which he would like to wander, the strange flora and fauna, his own secret planet, the sort of thing he likes to think about. This general atmosphere, and pattern or a structure of growth, governs all his creations, however varied.
Tiger in a Tropical Storm (Surprised!), Henri Rousseau, 1891
I want to write something that means something to someone…that reminds them of what a second, a moment, really is…or that assures them that we are just as lost as they are. I want to write an emotion they are too fragile to let loose, so that my words can do the expression for them, the feeling for them. I want to write beyond the basics and the cliches…I want to write you, I want to write a long walk on a starry night, I want to write an exhale or an inhale…or suffocation.
I want to write as clear as my voice could be heard…that is, if I had anything to say.
I create other worlds, magical never-never lands where the camera is my weapon and the battles I fight are with the elements. I stretch the laws of the mind and displace people from their realities to capture a side of them they didn’t even know they had. Photography has the ability to freeze people in this time and space—no matter what happens after that moment, it cannot change—they are exactly how I want them to be.
But I must get back into the world of my creative mind: otherwise, in the world of pies & shin beef, I die. The great vampire cook extracts the nourishment & I grow fat on the corruption of matter, mere mindless matter. I must be lean & write & make worlds beside this to live in.
―Sylvia Plath, The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath, Monday, March 4, 1957
Synchronicity is the perception of seemingly unrelated events as meaningful, a recognition of the human ability to weave together that which is not obvious. One of the things I love most about the synchronistic approach to life is that it allows creativity to remain fluid. When an opportunity presents itself in one arena, a synchronistic thinker can shift attention to provide space for growth. Being able to move from writing to singing and performing, from music to poetry, from visual to auditory realms is exhilarating. It keeps things fresh and reinforces the feeling that all creative efforts come from the same place, an interior space somewhere in the subconscious where dreams begin. Sometimes the most unlikely ideas lead us into places we have hardly dared to imagine, while the most bankable idea may only lead us back to where we started.
Cigarette girls from Carmen at Houston Grand Opera, fashion concept based on the work of photographer Ruven Afanador. I’m the one in the middle.
For the past five months I’ve been busy performing and singing. This included working hard and having a great time at Houston Grand Opera as we presented three very diverse works: The Passenger, Carmen, and Die Fledermaus, as well as singing with the new H-town Music Cooperative, whichpresents fantastic intimate chamber music concerts in homes around Houston. I’m also currently filling in with a lovely community ensemble, Opera Leggera of Kingwood, which has been getting my dance chops up and going. When I started synkroniciti,I was prepared to let the musical performance component of my creative journey wind down. As I began writing, much to my amazement, the singing and performing jobs came in with a vengeance. Is it possible that synkroniciti has had something to do with that? It certainly has not hurt, despite the prevailing educational wisdom of today that encourages young people to narrow their interests and give 100% effort to the specialization of their choice. Why not keep your interests broad and acknowledge that creativity is a support system for life?
That being said, one can pursue several different things concurrently, but not simultaneously. The flurry of performing I experienced this spring had a surprising effect on synkroniciti. As I wrote less and much more selectively, the number of followers increased steadily. The themes and quotes became the backbone of the blog as well as nurturing my own sanity and keeping windows open onto different pastures. The guilt I felt over not writing as much faded as I realized that it wasn’t effective to drown myself or my readers with the sheer volume of my posts. Running from one cool piece of art to another like a kid in a candy store had begun to produce a stomach ache and severe difficulty in focusing. This miraculously vanished when lack of time stopped me from trying to buy everything in the store.
What will the long term impact of this experience be? Synkroniciti will continue to explore a weekly or biweekly theme through daily quotes. We will feature up to three creative people or genres per week that are somehow connected to this theme, with the occasional philosophical post on creativity and aesthetics. The newest feature on the blog, which I am positively ecstatic about, will be the weekly unveiling of an original piece or set of pieces produced by synkroniciti. These will be postedat the end of each week and archived on a brand new page of the website. At first these pieces will be my own work, but in the future I hope to feature projects made by collaborative teams working with synkroniciti. The first of these posts will go up tomorrow and features my recent pencil drawings, titled Metamorphic Fairies. I can’t wait to share them with you!
Our slogan is explore, create, share. When I selected those words, I had no idea how appropriate they would become to describe the beginning of our journey. I’m overcome with emotion to realize that the past year and a half(!) has been a period of intense exploration. Now we begin the creative period in earnest, looking forward to the day when we can more fully share our vision with others. This doesn’t mean that we haven’t been creative yet, that we are done exploring, or that we are not yet ready to share. Growth never happens in a straight line, but sometimes we are lucky enough to see it spiral out into the world around us. Thank you for being a part of that process!
If there is a hard, high wall and an egg that breaks against it, no matter how right the wall or how wrong the egg, I will stand on the side of the egg. Why? Because each of us is an egg, a unique soul enclosed in a fragile egg. Each of us is confronting a high wall. The high wall is the system which forces us to do the things we would not ordinarily see fit to do as individuals . . .
We are all human beings, individuals, fragile eggs. We have no hope against the wall: it’s too high, too dark, too cold. To fight the wall, we must join our souls together for warmth, strength. We must not let the system control us– create who we are. It is we who created the system.