Up until 2001, when I was young and a bit idiotic, I didn't really know what serendipity meant, I just loved the sound of it. When I finally took the trouble to consult the dictionary, I realised that there had been many serendipitous occurrences in my life. Looking back today, more and more have taken place since I left my corporate job almost two years ago.
I've told you before about The Creative License (in depth here, and referred to here) but I must admit that the permanent state of a written comment, even if online which, by its nature is ever-changing, often reined me in. In other words, it's a miracle you've only heard me referencing this book twice because I shoehorn it in every conversation, workshop, course, meeting, discussion I am having with whoever happens to be sitting opposite.
And yet, even in this age of instant, no-barrier-communication, I had never even tried to engage with Danny Gregory himself. I felt a bit shy and, yes, star-struck. When earlier this year his wife Patti died, I felt an immense surge of emotions crashing through me. As I returned to his site to read his updates about adjusting to life without her, big fat tears would hurtle down my cheeks and splash on the laptop. I felt unable to offer any words that wouldn't sound empty, rehearsed, perfunctory, contrived or plain pointless. So much for being a writer.
On Monday though I couldn't hold back any longer. Danny had just posted about immortality and legacy (creative and otherwise, read it right here) and as he asked himself what impression he would leave to the world and how long it would last because 'encouraging others to make things seems like a nice testament to one's life', I just had to say something.
What followed, apart from immense shock that anyone, let alone the guy who inspires me so much, would call anything I've written extraordinary, was a flurry of communication from new people who had seen my comment on Danny's site, had a bit of a gander at this place and decided to make contact by sending me their links, their drawings, their reading suggestions. Wow reader; there is so much good stuff out there, so many people creating fabulous works, so much energy devoted to a legacy of creativity and joy! If you are still thinking about picking up the pen (the brush, the watercolours, the copper wire, the whatever), what's keeping you?
The summer blues have passed; the temperature has dropped by ten degrees, it's now Wednesday morning and as I listen to the rain tapping against the window, I feel awkwardly happy. Yes, awkwardly. Can you feel awkward about being happy? I guess you can considering that dissatisfaction is getting hard-wired within us as we compare our everything to everyone else's everything and shouldn't our everything be more than their everything? I don't think so dear reader.
I think I am very rich. And I got richer the other day, as I discovered the work of people I didn't know existed, as I printed off drawings I've received and stuck them in my own journal for inspiration, as I started reading the short stories and was transported to new lands. I can't stop thinking about it. The everyday gripes dissipate themselves when I shun the noise and look at the landscape of creative possibility that so many people are beautifying for themselves and for others. Maybe I am not even awkwardly happy in my approach to life. Maybe I am just happily awkward but I like it that way.