The first little thing was ending up once again at one of my favourite watering holes in the city “The Jester”. I have been there a few times with different groups of friends and the one thing that always seems to happen is a real sense of the spontaneous and the ridiculous; dare I even say random?
We arrived only half cut at around (I would guess) 9ish? My memory fails me now at 3:23 in the morning but I continue sharing with you anyway. We all grabbed several tables and joined them together in a football style huddle. The on lookers would know right away we were in for a long night by our demeanor.
As I made my way to my seat, I interrupted a couple. A very cute couple and I couldn’t help but notice their familiar faces. I had never seen them before this night but yet they looked so familiar. I just had to mention my notice of their familiarity. You look like Meg Ryan, the “Addicted to Love” years. “Wow” she said and smiled. Then I told the other that he looked like Chris O’Donnell. He was flattered and went on to give me a few examples of who else he had been told he looked like over the years. I didn’t really listen, I was over hearing the table ordering their drinks and I wanted in on it.
By their behaviour I knew they had only just met and so I called them out on it. They looked surprised and confirmed that this was their first date. How exciting! We had crashed a first date and they were enjoying the uninvited banter. This is when the first of two little moments got me to thinking about not walking away from my blog. Somehow my blog got mentioned. I know you’re thinking I mentioned it but I don’t think that was the case.
Regardless, the young woman who looked a lot like Meg Ryan asked what blog it was and I quickly rushed over my answer “Bruce in the City dot com!” The cropped blonde immediately replied, “Oh my God! I know it! I’ve read your blog!” Right? How in this fat city of mine could I happen to end up chatting with a complete stranger, who just happens to look like one of my favourite female romantic antagonists, know me and my blog? I just looked across the table at one of my girlfriends and she had this very cool grin on her face. Kind of proud for me and at the same time looking at me like, “You want to forget your blog now?”
The night was outstanding and with the pub dialing up it’s karaoke I knew I was just one Manhattan away from pulling out my big man voice. Okay, so I sang “Yesterday” by The Beatles and it felt good to get back up on that stage even for a moment. I thought about that creative side of me. A side almost forgotten in my busy world. I love that pub. It’s kind of a magic place. Weird, serendipitous moments happen there.
We paid the bill and off we went to grab a cab to get us home. When we got inside the cab the radio was playing some interview. I was trying to converse with my partner so it was somewhat irritating. The person on it continued droning on and I politely said nothing to the driver and my partner and I continued our chat about how well rehearsal went.
Still this woman’s voice was attracting. We stopped talking and started listening to whoever it was on the radio. She was clearly talking about herself and I was now interrupted enough to try and listen long enough to find out who it was.
She was talking about creative people and her own creative need. She explained that creative people need an outlet to use their gifts because the creativity doesn’t stop, it just manifests itself into something on going. Maybe in the negative because let’s face it, if you don’t nurture these creative impulses they can show themselves as other behaviours like depression, anxiety, anger. I had never looked at creative thought in this way before. A living thing that will try to harness any of one’s emotions to get out into the world. I’ve always thought of myself as a creative person and yet I have never given myself the real permission to be that which is creative. I think allowing myself, in small doses, to feel like maybe I’m worthy to call myself creative and be in my creative mind.
I feel like I’m always taking care of everything. I feel like if I don’t keep “It” all running then something bad is fated to happen, But in hearing this woman talk about artistic expression, not in some form of making money or being successful in the traditional sense, but to just be creative for the sake of loving the creative made me feel free!
My little blog popped in and out of my mind and so did my love for singing. No, I’m not going to start singing my blog! That could be fun though. It was such a wonderful reminder that creative people just need to be creative. It’s not about fame or money. It’s just about getting out all that pollution the world breathes every single day.
They finally said her name, “Elizabeth Gilbert” Author of Eat, Pray, Love. Well apparently she has a new book out called “Big Magic”. I was really intrigued with her conversation with Shadrach Kabango on “Q” on CBC radio. My partner and I looked at each other and it was as if we both knew we had been smothering our artistic realities trying to be all grown up and responsible. Working is a good thing until that work becomes the driving force that smothers you from making you truly happy and authentic.
Unless you are some wealthy independent person who doesn’t need to make an income, we all must get up every morning and put that proverbial suit on. But we have to strive everyday to find our balance and what that looks like and feels like to you. For the longest time I have been feeling very unlike the book by Ms. Gilbert “Eat, Pray, Love”. I’m more like “No eat, No pray, No love” and that’s a very unhappy space to live in.
Maybe we’ll get the balance right later rather than sooner but one thing is for sure, we have to make a real commitment to try. Life is way too short for it to only be about the 9 to 5!
Yeah so maybe I’m back…. but this time I’m “Bruce IN the City” and not just looking in from the outside.
Have a great weekend. I will get to the other blogs tomorrow.
Editor Mary Ellen Monk
Shadrach Kabango on “Q”
The Jester on Yonge