When I lived in Santa Monica, CA – I almost surrendered my creativity. Again.
It was fortunate for me at the time that the apartment buildings were close together. My neighbors and I could, when the curtains were open, see into each other’s lives.
It was my custom, on Saturday nights, to listen to A Prairie Home Companion. I love stories – telling my own and listening to others. Everyone has a story inside, longing to have a voice.
I sat down to my beautiful round teak kitchen table.
I was at an impasse. I was dissatisfied with whatever I was working on. My hands were paused over what I had just unhappily created, poised to tear it to shreds – when I heard a voice outside, coming from my neighbor Carmen’s second story window. “Barbara, you’ve inspired me to take out my art materials.”
I pulled my hands away from the crater of destroying my own work.
Timing. Observant Neighbors. A Benevolent Universe.
I kept the art I had almost destroyed. I kept it for a good many years after. Until one day, I knew I didn’t need to hold onto that night any longer – that reminder that I had almost taken a hand to destroy my creative impulses, just as my mother had done when I was a girl.