Friday, October 15, 2010

Apples and Creativity

Sorry about the Friday post, I spent yesterday at my parents' house picking apples, stacking wood, and winterizing their enormous raspberry patch. It was glorious, but as I worked, thoughts of winter whispered in my mind. Nothing speaks of long, frozen months like climbing into the frosted branches of an apple tree or wading through six-foot tall raspberries to tie them up like old-fashioned haystacks.

Time has trained my mind to turn from summer and warmth and reckless play to winter and snow and the holidays by repeating these fall rituals. The air can turn chill and the leaves can blaze with color on the mountains, but it isn't really autumn to me until the apples ripen and I disappear into the tree tops.

As I worked yesterday, my mind slipped back to my childhood and then to my books. I pondered how, just like time has trained me to prepare for winter by repeating the same activities every fall, I've trained myself to prepare to write by sitting in my chair every day armed with my laptop and imagination. My brain is geared to string words together in that chair, just like it's geared to think winter every time I pick apples or split and stack wood.

I've programed my mind and creativity so show up and engage by showing up myself. And the best part about this is, I never knew I was doing it. I don't know if you can have a habit of creating, but I think, just maybe, you can.


L.T. Elliot said...

I love this post, Leisha. It feels like orchards and harvest and slow, sheltering earth. =]

Brilliant thought about showing up for creativity, for the natural season of it because of the work you sowed. Well said!

Jonene Ficklin said...

Great post! Apples sound yummy. My Dad just dropped by and left me some apples. Might just have to eat one and then 'show up' for an afternoon of creativity. (Love the image of sitting in a tree looking at autumn!)

LeishaMaw said...

L.T., thanks! Who knew I could be brilliant on accident?

Jonene, apples are yummy! I'm thinking apple pie. Mmmmm.

Texasblu said...

I have never seen raspberries like that.

Wow - I'm totally missing out.

Have you read The Creative Habit by Twyla Tharp? Claudia Mills suggested it to us 2 years ago and that's what your post reminds me of - a beautiful creative habit. Lovely.

PS I didn't respond to your synopsis not because I didn't care, but because everyone else had much better things to say, so I figured I do what Dave said to do and quietly *pass* on the critiquing. ;)

Mark Andrew Edwards said...

I totally understand what you're talking about. I have my 'Throne of Writing' and when I'm in it, I'm in writing mode.

I also kind of envy your farm work, in a weird way. Reminds me of my childhood in Iowa.

LeishaMaw said...

Texasblu, I haven't read that. I'll go and search it up. Also, I understand the pass thing. :)

Mark,I can picture you in the Throne! And as far as farm work goes, I don't do it very often anymore. I live in the suburbs and return home to help my parents out when they need it, but it is fun and does bring back the memories.

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Anonymous said...

Great post! Rituals can be so great like that, especially seasonal ones. Lately we've been taking family walks every Sunday, and that's been a great ritual for family bonding. Now I just need to create a good ritual for warming up my brain to write. You're lucky if all it takes is sitting in the chair!

Elizabeth Mueller said...

I can imagine how magical the raspberry canes feel and the apple trees ready for harvesting.

It's funny, but while I was growing up, I loved to draw by our great sliding door while it rained. It felt like a magical time.

During certain weather climates, I'm inspired to create from writing to drawing to crafting.

Don't you just love the seasons? :)

~Elizabeth :)

Stacy Henrie said...

After reading this, I want to go pick apples. :)

I love the reminder that to be creative, we have to show up. Sometimes I fear that blank page, the less than perfect composition. But for the creativity to come, I have to DO something.

LeishaMaw said...

Nikki,Sunday walks are the best. :)

Elizabeth, drawing by the sliding door while it rains sounds great!

Stacy, blank pages are scary! But, no matter what you splat there, you can always edit it off. :)


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