Friday, March 1, 2013

Exploring Creativity - How Do You Do It?

When I was running the rat-race at biglaw, I didn't really have time for a creative hobby - or so I thought, maybe if I had scheduled my time better, I would have...shouldhave wouldhave couldhave.  Channeling and expressing the well of creativity that is deep within every human being is an essential part of a fulfilled and happy soul.  I am convinced of this.  I think this is a huge part of why a lot of adults with mundane jobs are chronically dissatisfied with life.  It's a crying shame that creative classes are the first that are cut from public schools during budget cuts.  Music, painting, creative writing, sculpture, cooking - when kids have an expressive outlet, there's a big difference to the quality of their cognitive development and overall sense of happiness.

Same with adults.  Our primal needs don't really change much, do they?

When I was a little girl, starting from the age of 4, I learned classical piano.  Not many of my friends know that about me because I never talk about it any more.  From 4 to about 17-years-old, it was a huge part of my life.  I practiced 3-4 hours every single day, more if I had a performance coming up and I was even home-schooled for part of high-school to accommodate my practice schedule (my instructor lived 3 hours away and when I had big performances, my parents drove me 6 hours total round-trip several times a week...that's love!).  My favorite composers to play were Bach, Rachmaninoff, Scriabin and...of course...Chopin.  Don't let any idiot tell you Chopin is "pedestrian" (a comment made by a self-important orthopedic surgeon I had ONE date with and this was a huge reason why...I was rankled to the core!).  Chopin's etudes are a part of the foundation of every classical pianist's training.  Every single important pianist from Chopin's time until today has Chopin in his/her repertoire and they all admire(d) him.  Just had to get that out there because I have a lifelong love affair with him!

So what happened?  I didn't get into Julliard and in the vanity and short-sightedness of youth, I threw it all away; my parents were devastated but let me be at that point.  I didn't want anything to do with it any more. And the most wretched part of if it is...now it's gone.  All those thousands of hours of practice and blood, sweat and tears with nothing to show for it.  To maintain the technical ability to properly execute a Chopin ballade or Rachmaninoff etude, one must keep practicing all the time. Otherwise you lose it.  At least when you paint a painting, the painting is always there...you know?

My parents bought me a Steinway grand piano a long time ago and it's still at their house...when I have a place big enough for it, I will move it there.  When I'm at their house, sometimes I'll flip through some of the 100s of music books and look at all the pieces I used to play, Mendelssohn, Brahms, Liszt...and then I realized recently that when I used to play, I didn't play out of love or passion, only because I had to, that's why I gave up at the Julliard impasse!  If I had truly loved it, I would have kept on with it because Julliard wouldn't have mattered.

I need another creative hobby in my life again - I think it will be good for me and I think all my adult friends should have one too which I would be so thrilled to support and see develop!  But should I pick up piano again?  Will I do it out of love this time?  During my walkabout, I've been to many piano recitals & concerts in Paris in gorgeous locations and I've heard some pieces I used to play - and each time, I am astounded at how truly beautiful the music is, why did I not sense that when I was growing up?  I mean, check this out:



This is the first movement of one of my most favorite concertos of all time by a contemporary pianist I admire - he makes this technically complex work look so easy, the mark of a virtuoso.  Listen to this and tell me this is not experiencing the divine.

I'm so curious:  what sort of creative hobby do you, as an adult, have?  Please email me and let me know, I would love some inspiration!

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