Boy, did ol’ Theo hit the nail on the head on that one. Crazy in and of itself isn’t enough when it comes to art. You have to be disciplined about it. Dr. Seuss wrote 60 books throughout his life, and 46 of them were for children. Those children’s books came from a place in himself beyond imagination. That kind of writing and illustrating requires the author to live in those cob-webby, unused spaces within their own minds on a pretty consistent basis. Getting to that mental location is difficult, if not impossible, if you’re working a full-time job, chasing kids around, and trying to figure out what to cook for dinner.
03 Mar 2012 Leave a comment
Theodore Geisel said, “In my world, everyone’s a pony, and they all eat rainbows and poop butterflies.”
I most certainly can relate to the poop part. When my son was born last year, we were still potty-training my daughter. My husband and I dubbed me the Head Ass Wiper In Charge ’round our house. I was drowning in shit there for awhile, and let me assure you, there were no butterflies involved. If any of these poetically winged creatures had flitted by, the smell would have killed ’em for sure.
I wasn’t always changing diapers on maternity leave last year, though. I spent a goodly amount of time stomping through the stream in the woods behind our house with my son in the front pack and my daughter splashing along in boots beside me. We threw leaves in the stream just to watch them float along with the current. We stalked bears, lions, deer, and antelope; we were sure we’d seen their prints all along the bank. We bent the little saplings by the water and checked the size of their buds each day. We thought a lot of thinks during those lazy days. We would come in each afternoon for lunch, baths, and naps. I wrote like crazy during those naps.
We have to be so disciplined about our jobs, chores, and errands each day. As important as those things are, they absolutely suck the life out of our creativity unless we discipline ourselves to find time to play. Blocking out all the mundane noise quiets the mind enough to that the Muse can wake up creativity and download ideas. Dr. Seuss was definitely on to something. Because our world turns at lightning speed, it may seem irrational to take time to watch a stick float down a stream. If you want to find your inner genius and bring it to light, making a date with “crazy” on a regular basis is imperative. So graze on some rainbows, shit some butterflies, and access the best of your creativity this weekend; celebrate Dr. Seuss’s birthday by celebrating yourself!