What makes creativity happen for you? That thing that gets you to a place where beyond fades in opaque light, just light, that when brush hits canvas or clay first forms or beads reorder in a new order or beats just tap themselves out or the pencil flies across the page, and beyond this spark of creation lays nothing you care for, like the crumpled sheets pushed aside in the night so you now lay exposed under the hot light of imagination. Consumed. You write. You don’t give a hoot about where you’ll end up on the continuum you just have to keep on moving toward that something. You make space for it, like every Thursday night you sit while the stream streams, and all that other stuff fades, the very stuff that might have made you cry or driven you crazy or made you cold just melts like July does on your back deck. And if you don’t write or paint or drum or dance or let yourself enter that space, then, well then something awful happens and you collapse, maybe you just shout or find yourself watching the evening commentary show that has replaced actual news, and you then, without much provocation, are on Twitter, scrolling through hundreds of characters issued by people who can’t talk to each other only at each other. You start to obsess.
Obsess about why are there so many political signs on peoples’ yard, even on business properties, and stuck on automobiles or backpacks like hey, this is who I am now, not the lawyer you can trust for a fair representation or the baker who would like everyone to taste her cupcakes, or the nice lady next door, who might be a judge or dental hygienist or have a green thumb, instead just someone who wants to let you know who they will vote for. Will they all vote? And is that what we now need to know about? As if you are at a sporting event and your team rivals are trying to scream you down with their bright jersey emblazoned with logos. This team is a big one for you, I get it, maybe this is just about all you can see for yourself. Like that amazing dunk you had back on that January late afternoon that had all the guys high-fiving you to at least April, but after that you really couldn’t bring it up because everyone was playing baseball now and you can’t get on base.
A caravan of people are coming, crossing Mexico, with their elders and babies, toward us, hungry and tired and in need of refuge. You can see the thousands filling town squares as they sleep, and covering roadways as they march. They are headed to the US but I just want to tell them to stop, find another place. This one is filled with arenas of people chanting some hateful shit. This one will take their babies, send them back, and lose all the paperwork, so that these babies will fall into a blackness no one can free them from. They are coming here, but this place isn’t what they expect if they are watching reruns from the Obama era. Goodwill has been replaced by pipe bombs and chanting mobs lead by our President. Actually provoked by his lack of leadership. Like the kid at the back of the bus who is desperate to make everyone think he is more powerful than the driver.
I wonder why we still drive cars that require gasoline and blow carbon monoxide straight into our air, or still buy our soda and water and juice and bologna in plastic? We are in fact, for a fact, without a doubt, indisputable, undeniable, unquestionable, incontestable, beyond question, in trouble on this planet and we need, more than ever, people who can turn the challenges ahead into avenues of solutions. Listeners. Doers. Thinkers. Without regard for walls or origins of birth or assigned birth genders or political signs. Without anything but the desperate need to repair this one earth, this one country, this one chance to bring forth your creation. To make your voice heard with whatever medium you choose. Let’s remember truth. That’s my birthday wish for us tonight.