Even as a creative artist, I used to think enduring struggles and hard days in silence and telling people everything was great meant I was strong. And then I learned it just meant I was scared—scared of people not loving me any other way. Scared of sharing the lessons that pain had to teach. I no longer see perpetual claims of “fineness” as strength.
People desperately need to see the full human experience, especially the dark parts. They need to know that other folks struggle, too, and that it’s all part of a bigger story of triumph. They need permission to keep going, knowing that hardship is normal for everyone. Give them that gift. Have that courage. Tell the whole story.
You’ve heard poets talk about poems flowing out of their bodies; painters, they get on a roll. You all have seen the musician, when they are in that state, the guitar, the piano, whatever instrument just becomes part of their body, their ego is completely gone and it is just their connection to the art, their connection to the emotions they are trying to share with the audience- that is pure flow.
If you meet a woman of whatever complexion who sails her life with strength and grace and assurance, talk to her! And what you will find is that there has been a suffering, that at some time she has left herself for hanging dead.
― Sena Jeter Naslund, Ahab’s Wife, or The Star-Gazer
I am never alone wherever I am. The air itself supplies me with a century of love. When I breathe in, I am breathing in the laughter, tears, victories, passions, thoughts, memories, existence, joys, moments, and the hues of the sunlight on many tones of skin; I am breathing in the same air that was exhaled by many before me. The air that bore them life. And so how can I ever say that I am alone?
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.
We write for the same reason that we walk, talk, climb mountains or swim the oceans — because we can. We have some impulse within us that makes us want to explain ourselves to other human beings. That’s why we paint, that’s why we dare to love someone- because we have the impulse to explain who we are. Not just how tall we are, or thin… but who we are internally… perhaps even spiritually. There’s something, which impels us to show our inner-souls. The more courageous we are, the more we succeed in explaining what we know.
When we focus on the song of our soul and heart, then others will be touched similarly. Sometimes people wonder or worry whether people will like or approve of their creative expression. It’s none of your business. It’s your business to stay present and focused for the work of your deepest dreams. It might look crooked or strange, or be very odd-but if it delights you, then it is yours, and will find its way into other hearts.
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!