When Creativity Visits, Part Deux

Classic literature is my favorite genre to read; My current pick is Jules Verne’s Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea. Mike took an interest in the title, but he’s not an avid book reader. We decided to watch a movie version, which we both enjoyed. But it got me thinking…

Jules Verne wrote that book in 1870, in French, and an English version followed in 1872. Amazing, an idea, a tale, that Verne articulated nearly 150 years ago is still reaching people – and will continue on for how many years beyond? This idea got me thinking about ideas, and creativity, and their reach.

I’ve always imagined creativity like a mystical bird,
flitting around, landing on curiously open minds
like bright flowers…

I’m amazed that we appreciate art imagined hundreds, possibly thousands of years ago – or, even that when we use a device, such as a telephone, that was imagined so long ago, we are interpreting an idea, a manifestation of creative energy. I’ve always imagined creativity as an energy in the form of a mystical butterfly or bird, flitting around, landing on curiously open minds like bright flowers. An idea may come but it won’t necessarily stick, or it may change. Some fester and die. But I like to think of the world as full of this creative energy, flowing all the time.

I think an artist’s greatest hope is that their work engages someone, touches them in some way. Even if that moment is simply to evoke the briefest happiness — like a tactile sense of appreciation, that hope is enough to finish what was started. Painting is no doubt a selfish reward, for all the intricate joys it produces. But back to Jules Verne, or Edison or anyone that receives and engages their creative muscle – you never know who that act will reach. It may not come in your lifetime. How many artists suffered penniless humiliation only to be lauded long after they’ve passed?

It’s an endless curiosity to never know, to not particularly care, who that energy reaches, but rather that it reaches someone. Create for the sake of creation, to fulfill the quest of the mystical bird, bounding through the universe.

Once in a Lifetime

Stella Mae. This is our twelfth summer and I am grateful for her, every single day.

She was at an adoption day at PetSmart. Amid a corral of frolicking puppies, she lay aloof, by herself. As I approached the perimeter, she stood and calmly walked to meet me. She sat in front of me and looked up to me with her soft eyes. DONE! I’ve said and will always say she is a ‘once in a lifetime’ kind of friend.

Here we are in the studio, taking a bothie (not a selfie, cuz that’s just of yourself). ❤

No judgement on the lack of housekeeping in my studio…

Ready

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I recently heard a friend say that she wasn’t ready to get another dog. (The context was: not emotionally ready to adopt a dog, because she was still very sad about the loss of her previous dog about a year earlier.)

A few months back, a different friend told me that he was reluctant to try online dating because he didn’t want to get hurt. Entering the dating arena placed him and his vulnerability front and center as easy prey.

We say: Timing is everything. And, while it’s true that timing is everything, we don’t get the luxury of picking the when.

The definition for ready is “completely prepared or in fit condition for immediate action or use; duly equipped, completed, adjusted or arranged, as for an occasion or purpose; willing.”

But are we ever ready for life as it unfurls before us? Isn’t that part of the fun, not knowing what lies just ahead, around the slight bend and just out of sight?

Furthermore, what constitutes our readiness for things?

In the end, isn’t it the suddenness or element of surprise that gives us an extra mite of joy in receiving the gifts of life? We adapt, softening and often delighting in the new puppy or meeting and getting to know a special person. Furthermore, isn’t it that things and events always turn out a little different than what we have imagined (hopefully for the better)?

On the other side of the coin, we pay individuals with psychic gifts to hopefully gain insight about what lies ahead, shrouded in the mists of our future. Do we really want to know? If we are told to expect the arrival of our perfect prince, how does that change the way we view life and the near future? Contritely, what if we are involved in a wonderful relationship and are told that it is about to come to a dramatic end?

In my experience, we are never really “ready”.

About five years ago, I was not dating. I had “taken myself off the market” or whatever you’d call it. Just being single.

A few weeks before Christmas 2015, my good friend was hosting a holiday party in Orlando. If you know me, you know that I loathe driving, and even on its best day, Interstate 4 is hellacious. The trip would’ve been approximately three hours each way, which really isn’t a big deal. But, I have a valid airmen certificate and an airplane ready to fly – and it’s a short 35 minute flight. It was December 4th, 2015, and I woke to sparkling sunshine, clear skies and light winds. With travel options, I chose to fly to Orlando, instead of driving.

When I fly, I always patch in my iPhone so I can listen to music. With good music playing, I lifted off from runway 5 around 10:30 am; once airborne, I executed a gentle turn to the east. My route of flight would take me directly over a small airport called “Pilot Country”, but other than that, it was an easy, direct path to Orlando Executive airport. I leveled off in the smooth air and settled in, enjoying the sights and sounds of the flight. As I approached Pilot Country airport from the west, I keyed in their frequency and made an announcement that I would be over-flying the field from west to east at a thousand feet. It was a Friday morning and I didn’t observe any other traffic, so I expected to continue my route of flight, uninterrupted. In that moment, how was I to know that my whole life was on the brink of changing forever?

A gentleman’s voice replied on the frequency, announcing that he was also in the vicinity, flying a Pitts. We deconflicted, and then he asked if he could form up on my wing? A Pitts is an aerobatic biplane and has always been one of my favorites. And in so far as forming up on my wing? Ummm, sure? This isn’t normal, but it happened so quickly – and I’m always one for some impromptu fun.

A black biplane popped up next to me, just as quickly and unexpected as could be. I snapped some pix with my iPhone, and the cheeky aviator asked if I’d kindly text those to him. He proceeded to give his phone number over the frequency, and I sent them along, realizing I had just given my number to a stranger, possibly the stalker-type. We flew along in a loose formation for a few moments before he pealed off, zooming off into the blue sky from which he’d emerged only seconds earlier. I continued to Orlando, the rest of the flight uneventful. I met my friend and recounted the strange encounter I’d just had.

Hello there
The photo that started it all!

The mysterious Pitts flyer and I began exchanging text messages. I had no idea who he was, just a fellow flyer on a sunny day. Intrigued, I agreed to meet him at a small area airport a week later.

On the day we planned to meet, it was another lovely day, warm for December but good for flying. I arrived at Zephyrhills airport before him and parked Daisy, the Champ, near the main runway. I always keep a blanket aboard for such occasions and spread it below the wing to sit and wait. A few moments later, I heard the authoritative sound of a powerful engine, and the black Pitts roared down the runway, abruptly pulling up into a steep climb and making a turn to re-enter the pattern. The Pitts landed and taxied up, parking next to me. I was suddenly kind of nervous! The moment of truth had arrived: who was this mysterious charmer?

The canopy opened, and a dark-haired man pulled himself from the narrow cockpit. I froze, staying seated right where I was, totally losing my cool. Seconds later, he finally stood before me: a handsome, clean-cut guy around my same age named Mike. I observed no wedding ring, another good sign. We were both nervous to meet one another, I could tell! He sat upon the blanket beside me and we got to talking, sharing a beautiful afternoon in each other’s company.

Mike, the bold Pitts flyer, and I were married on February 22, 2018 – and if you put those digits down, they make up the radio frequency on which we met (122.8). I might not believe that story if it were not my own — but you just never know what life has up its sleeve. Was I ready to meet Mike? I would’ve probably said that I wasn’t, but we were obviously meant to meet. I have often wondered at the timing – two minutes in either direction and we could’ve missed one another.

There’s no such thing as being ready, but it serves us well to anticipate the good that can come when we least expect it. Know that The Universe listens. Things can and sometimes will go wrong, but more oft than not, they go right. Try being ready to receive good things, believe in it, and keep your eyes on the sky. ❤