Let's talk about creativity and inspiration for a minute. For me, writing is a creative outlet. For my kids, it's something totally different.
While we’re all experiencing the brave new world that is life with Covid-19, many people are finding time for new outlets of creativity. I heard a comedian say this will be the time that everyone and their mom start a podcast. I think I heard it ON a podcast actually, but who can remember where things come from these days with so much input. Well, I’ve decided to add my own mindless dribble to the cacophony of opinions out there, but I'm a bit behind the times. So instead of a podcast, I thought I’d start a blog! There will be a little bit of spirituality, a little bit of humor, a little bit of nature, and a little bit of nonsense, I’m sure.
Why would anyone care what I have to say about this? I ask myself that ALL the time. I put off doing this for so long because I thought, “Who is going to read it? Will it make sense? Does anyone care?” Well, my dear Aunt Diane shared a quote with me awhile back that sticks to my soul and rises up whenever I start to doubt my actions:
“There is a vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all of time, this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and it will be lost. The world will not have it. It is not your business to determine how good it is nor how valuable nor how it compares with other expressions. It is your business to keep it yours clearly and directly, to keep the channel open. You do not even have to believe in yourself or your work. You have to keep yourself open and aware to the urges that motivate you. Keep the channel open.” ― Martha Graham
So it’s almost as though I can’t stop these writings. They aren’t really coming FROM me; they’re coming THROUGH me. Who am I to stop the flow of the Divine Energy Source through me? If these writings speak to no one, if they speak to everyone, if they speak to only one-- that is not the point.
Divine Energy flows through children too.
As I’m stuck in my home with my children (7 and almost 5), many times I’ve wanted to escape. The volume of which they fight and squabble is only matched by the volume of which they laugh and sing with joy. So much noise. All the time. What I’ve recognized is that they aren’t filtering themselves. They aren’t blocking the channel through their soul that allows for creativity and energy to flow. When we teach children to curb their volume and their forms of expression, are we also teaching them to filter themselves and plug up that channel? And I get why we try to filter them: kids can be annoying and loud and inappropriate and not welcome in polite society. But right now, we’re not in polite society. We’re stuck. At home. In quarantine.
I’ve heard more knock-knock jokes about buttcheeks the past week than I’ve ever heard in my life. To be honest, I don’t know that I’ve actually heard a knock-knock joke about a buttcheek until this quarantine. Actually, "buttcheeks" are the tamest of the potty talk I've heard lately but the other topics were a bit too unsavory. Since we monitor their Netflix and Youtube watching pretty closely, so I have to assume that all these jokes are their own creations. This is their form of creativity.
Now I know what you’re thinking: Are you trying to say that the Divine Energy Source is working through your children and to make knock-knock jokes about buttcheeks a thing? Well, yes and no. My kids are learning to trust that channel. For one reason or another, they think buttcheeks are funny. Truth be told, they’re not UNfunny… at the very least, they’re pretty harmless.
So I believe a Divine Energy Source is working through my children, giving them something they find joyful, something that makes them laugh so hard their whole bodies shake. You can see it on their faces and hear it in their giggles. Who the hell am I to say, “That thing that brings you so much joy, is WRONG.” I won’t have my kids afraid of something harmless that brings them joy. Because that is EXACTLY how you start to stifle the Divine Energy Source in someone. That is how you start to block the channel.
I picture God (or whatever you’d like to call Him/Her/Shkler) listening to my kids talk about buttcheeks, rolling Her eyes, just a like a mom… a brilliant, devoted mom who can look past the silliness and still see the joy. Believe what you want about God, but I personally believe God is so much bigger than a silly joke. While most religions shy away from the silly, funny, or crude things, I think God clearly has a sense of humor. God sees the big picture, and the big picture is that my kids are learning to trust themselves. God is teaching them to trust what comes through them, gently guiding them to know themselves and trust their own desires and wants.
So I’m allowing the buttcheek jokes. Would I prefer it not be about buttcheeks? Absolutely. But besides buttcheeks, I’ve also witnessed some beautiful, magical moments in their world:
Maddie found a piece of bark in the woods and looked at it closely. She pointed to all the different colors, and in that one piece of dried bark, she was able to identify every color of the rainbow. She was mesmerized.
Sam found a ladybug crawling on the floor and his first instinct was to talk to it and make sure it was safe on a plant outside. He saw this as a moment for kindness above all else.
Maddie has been writing letters to all of her friends. Without prompting, she's been telling them she how much she misses them, pouring her little 7 year old heart out on paper and sending it freely into the world.
Sam talked to his grandma on the phone and told her how much he misses her and how much he wishes he could see her and hug her. He did this not only to express himself, but also to let his grandma know how much she is loved.
Maddie started a “Wildlife Center” in our backyard where she shows off interesting things in nature that she has collected. Her one rule: be kind to nature and don’t take something if an animal or plant needs it.
Sam built a bridge and tunnel in the sandbox (which has been more mud than sand lately) with full gusto, getting deep down and dirty to make his creation perfect. He would never let a little mud get in his way.
Now THESE moments are so obviously from a Divine Energy Source, and they make my heart explode with joy. These are hopefully the ones I remember most as they grow older. When they’re grown, I may tell them a buttcheek joke, just to see if it still lands.