Candy Tilton Ulrich painting at Sarasota Jungle Gardens, a photo by State Library and Archives of Florida on Flickr.
Are you what is known as a ‘creative’? Are you an artist, a designer, a writer, a blogger, a musician, a chef, an inventor, a pioneer, an explorer, a healer?
Have you been called (cue deep 50s era movie vocals) to use your creativity to support yourself, either full-time or part-time? Does the real-world expression of your right brained-antics pay the rent and put dinner on the table?
“Do what you love, and you’ll never work a day in your life,” a speaker said once, at an elementary school career fair. He was quoting somebody more famous.
Since you were knee-high to a grasshopper, you have bravely lived your life by that particular dictum.
You let your freak flag fly proudly. Where everybody else sees a pile of rocks, you conjure a necklace of polished stone. Where everybody else finds a gutted shack, you envision a beautiful home. Where others find a cornfield, you see a triptych of oil paintings with amber waves of grain — and spaceships. Where some see a scene on the street, you see a story or a poem or a haiku.
Sometimes, when you’re really lucky, you even be compensated for your endeavors with cash money by somebody whose check doesn’t bounce.
You love what you do, but admit it. Sometimes, late at night, between the end of The Colbert Report and sunrise, the meanie comments come creeping in. You’ve catalogued them well in your creative mind-like-a-steel-trap — the bumps and bruises and scars incurred from friends and acquaintances (and, sometimes yourself) some well-meaning…and some not so well-meaning.
When are you going to get a ‘real’ job?
Well, at least you’re not that busy….like me.
When are you going to have ‘normal’ hours like the rest of us?
Why do you think you’ll be able to succeed?
Like the rest of us?
Like the rest of us?
Who is this infernal ‘us’? you wonder. Are the members of ‘us’ twisted, bulbous and derelict, like a Hieronymous Bosch painting? Or, are they healthy, and happy and industrious, like a Normal Rockwell? Do they resemble the people sitting in the diner in the dark, like Edward Hopper’s ‘Nighthawks’? Are they like the Mona Lisa, smiling guilefully — do they know something you do not? Do they look like the guy in Edvard Munch’s ‘The Scream’?
You recall quote about the guy doing what he loved from the elementary school career fair.
You realize, with terror, that he was a certified public accountant. And he was quoting Donald Trump.
You’d be about as useful as a certified public accountant as Godzilla in a handblown glass shop.
But you know that — and knowing is half the battle.
But, hey…wouldn’t that make a really fascinating idea for a glass vase? Godzillas, and calculators and abacuses?
School children singing, Pie Town, New Mexico (LOC), a photo by The Library of Congress on Flickr.
Currently, your friendly United States government is experiencing a ‘shut-down’. Various programs intended to promote public health, safety or sanity are calling it quits. You might have heard your parents or teachers discussing the situation. There is a lot of misinformation out there. At this time, wee ones, you may feel frightened.
Never fear. You have questions. We have answers. Raise your hands, please, ladies and gentlemen. One at a time. This isn’t Congress.
1.) Why isn’t Uncle Sam shutting my school down?
Your school hasn’t been voted off the island. At least not yet. Don’t lose hope, however…there’s always next week. Your math and science scores have, after all, been somewhat lackluster in recent years.
2.) Can I go to Yellowstone this weekend with my mom and dad?
If caught hiking in a national park, you will be asked to leave the premises by Smokey the Bear. Who needs the great outdoors anyway? Can’t you just play Grand Theft Auto?
3.) Who is Smokey the Bear?
He is a cartoon bear. He used to have his own show, in the era BRC (before remote control), when one had to physically get up to change the channel. It was a magical time, back before fire and the wheel. With any luck, our politicians can bring our political system back to Byzantine times.
4.) Who feeds the bears during the shut down?
Park rangers have been furloughed. Bears will, therefore, be given special dispensation to eat those who trespass in national parks. First, they will ask, politely, that you leave (so I hope you speak Bear). You have ten minutes to do so. Then, my friends, it is lights out. Pursuant to Special Government Dispensation 483203, Bearangers are given discretionary funding to eat children who don’t eat their vegetables.
5.) What is a fur-low?
A furlough is when everybody relaxes from doing important things. It’s like being on the down low, but only more complicated. It is also spelled in the Queen’s English, which makes it sound more complex than it actually is.
It reminds me of a song we used to sing in music class: “Home, home on the range, where the deer and the antelope play, where seldom is heard a discouraging word, and the skies are not cloudy all day…”
6.) There is a chemical spill outside my house!
Tell your parents to drive around it. If all that global warming malarkey is true, there is a good chance it will evaporate before you even know it!
7.) Can my daddy still go to the doctor?
Who needs the doctor when you have pizza, breadsticks and ‘Breaking Bad’ reruns?
8.) Why are you having a Tea Party when the government doesn’t have enough money?
Fear not! You can help. Do you have any of last week’s allowance left? Send it on in. Every little bit helps. We do have a Pay Pal site.
9.) The meat in the cafeteria smells like my older brother’s soccer socks after a game!
It may be your brother’s soccer socks. We stopped inspecting that stuff days ago. Sorry. Come on. Lighten up!
Consequently, SEE NUMBER EIGHT. WE HAVE A PAY PAL SITE!
10.) When my sister and I fight, somebody always makes us share! Why can’t we end this thing?
Remember what your mother said: “Sharing is caring”. Or what wise King Solomon said during Sunday School? Well, that stuff only applies at home and at church. Remember to never give up. Remember to eat your broccoli. Remember to brush your teeth, so you don’t have to get dental care, because, Good Lord, it won’t be easy. Remember God is a Democrat. No. God is a Republican. Maybe he is a Libertarian, because I think he would want open borders. So, here’s a basket of candy and a bowl of chewing gum. It’s so great to have so many young minds gathered together!!