Anyways, as she was writing that stellar post, I was working on a blog design. And also mulling over in my head what I would write about in my own post. You see, I kind of shot myself in the foot the other day when I wrote about the importance of quality, original content. Because that means my ramblings are no longer acceptable. Which means I had nothing to write about.
Jen said, "Oh, the irony" and went back to wordsmithing an entertaining post and I returned to blog designing and stewing in my jealousy of her ability to work "treasure trove of curiosities" into a post.
Then on the way home, we got to chatting. Jen's a creative and an artist to boot. So we, quite philosophically, discussed the importance of creativity and art. I was telling her that somehow, taking the time to be creative just feels selfish to me. That it just does not matter as much as my teaching. That at the end of my little life, I will be more proud of myself for having been a teacher than I will for having designed blogs.
And yet, in my classroom I strongly encourage creativity. I want my students to use their imaginations and to create an environment within their home that allows their children to do the same (I teach adults). And when someone has artistic talent, I offer suggestions of how they can further develop that talent.
So why when we take the time to develop artistic talents or to explore our creativity, why does it feel selfish? Why do I feel like there a billion other things that would be more worth my time and energy?
Sometimes there are stories in me that just won't let me rest until I've taken the time to let those stories run through my fingers. And sometimes, I feel selfish for sneaking out of bed to grab those floating words and place them in a pleasing order.
I wonder if Michelangelo laid in bed at night, wide awake as the lines and shapes and colors and figures of the Sistine Chapel came together in his head. When he finally started to paint it, I wonder if it was like doing a paint by number from having envisioned it all those nights before falling asleep.
And I wonder if he felt selfish for having spent four years painting that. And for all the years before those four, the years that he spent developing his talent.
I've never been to the Sistine Chapel, but I imagine if I do go, I won't look up at that ceiling and think, "How selfish of Michelangelo."
And would we, collectively, be lesser had they felt selfish and decided to wash the dishes instead?