Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Creativity, Imagination, and Me

Musicians amaze me. Not pop stars, not those autotune denizens. But real, honest-to-goodness, talented music makers. I believe it was Ad Rock who so wisely rapped, " . . . Only 12 notes that a man can play." We all have the same notes. We have the same constants. Some of us can turn them into such amazing, original, beautiful new things. Some of us plunk out the same old chords.

I am the latter.

In my youth I took piano lessons. My teacher was this hard core, old school pianist who would regularly scold me for my too-long fingernails and biomechanically-impossible turned-out thumbs. "You don't see people walking around with their thumbs turned out!" she would huff. Except mine do. I was a thorn in her side, for sure. She and her husband were concert pianists, their small North Buffalo house filled wall to wall with baby grand pianos. Early on in my lessons--I started later in my youth, say, when I was 10 or so--I was assigned short compositions. I had to write musically-correct melodies and then play them each week at my lessons.

I sucked. Even during the years when I was learning music theory my compositions were pedestrian. Boring. Blah. Unoriginal. I don't think the way creative people think. I'm a rule follower to the core. A musician hears whats missing in the world and then makes it. I don't understand how that works.

I don't know if I've ever had an imagination. Looking back, thinking about being a child, I don't know. My drawings all looked the same. As an adult, trying to paint a picture I have no idea what to put on the paper.

Believe me, I'm not throwing a pity party for myself here. Being a literal thinker has done well for me, mostly. I just wish, sometimes, I had a bit of a creative spark in me. Some way of looking at the world that would help me make something different and new.

My lack of imagination and creativity, though, has not served me well when I think of my little girl. I can't place her in our family, other than what I knew her as. I don't see her as a one and a half year old. I don't know what she'd look like, sound like, smell like. I don't see her in the world around me, I don't know if she sees us.

I just miss her. I just want to be able to conjure her up when I need to. And I can't, and that sucks.


  1. Oh mama, this is so me. Hope is forever my newborn. Frozen as my newborn. I can't picture her any other way.
    My forever baby. I don't always know if that's a good thing or not. I wish I had some idea of who or what I was missing. All I know is, it feels like such a big hole in my life.

  2. This seems like a glimpse into my future. My baby, forever a baby. Maybe this is one of those things about grief that actually gets heavier over time instead of lighter. I get older, my kids get older, the world gets older and she stays the same. Thanks for still posting so many months out.