July is almost gone. The months fly by so quickly, and there is so much I want to do. I'm a little obsessed with two things these days—time and creativity. All you have to do is look at the titles on my current bookshelf to see it: The Power of Now, The Art of Stopping Time, The 36-Hour Day, The Creative's Curse, Big Magic - Creative Living Beyond Fear, It's Never Too Late to Begin Again, Manage Your Day-to-Day. This obsession has many roots—my mother's physical decline and accompanying dementia, the fact that I've officially entered the "golden years,” my shift from full-time employment to retirement with almost no daily structure. And, perhaps most of all, my love for photography and the fear that I may not have enough time to become really good at it.
I recently discovered a wonderful perspective on time and creativity in a book of poems and essays called "Upstream" by Mary Oliver. It spoke to me in a way that nothing else has. You can see more extensive quotes in a 2016 post from Maria Popova's Brain Pickings, but here are my favorite lines:
Creativity is inextricably intertwined with time, and resides almost exclusively in the part of me that believes the only time that matters is the current moment. Throughout most of my life that creative self made only an occasional appearance, but as I grow older I find it's asserting itself more often. It seems right that I finally gained a better understanding of my personal battle with time and creativity in a book of poetry.