Creative again.

Last year, 2017, was a lost year for me in many ways. I honestly felt like the election of Trump sucked out all my creative drive, desire to even attempt to be creative. I know too many others felt like this. It’s been a year now and I’m trying to crawl out of this hole.

So, I’m trying to find my creative self again. Get back to writing. To taking photos. To cooking. To reading. To dreaming. I need help and I’ve reached out to friends for their encouragement and to help keep my feet to the fire so I don’t give up.

In the meantime, I’ve been consuming lots of brilliant work by some creative superstars. Here are a few of the highlights – I hope you enjoy.

I just saw this documentary Icarus and I have no idea why I never heard about it. It is harrowing and shocking. An amateur cyclist winds up uncovering Putin’s deadly hold on the doping of Russian athletes while trying to improve his race times. You really should watch it now and tell all your friends. No joke.

When poor Jon Benet Ramsey was murdered, I didn’t follow it obsessively. I followed it like the tragedy it was and then moved on. This filmmaker has made a “hybrid” documentary, Casting JonBenet as she looks to cast a movie about the murder. In the process the actors and non-actors who are auditioning tell their own stories and shed light on why they interpret the case as they do.

The book Love and Trouble: A Midlife Reckoning by author Claire Dederer is so intimate and so recognizable to me as a woman that it feels almost too intimate, personal and intense to read. It’s like coming upon someone’s diary and feeling your cheeks get red hot as you read it because you know you shouldn’t but you find it so real and honest, you cannot put it down. Get it.

The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel is a marvel. I loved getting lost in it and cannot wait for the next season. It’s on Amazon Prime and tells the story of a prosperous, perfect Jewish wife who lives in a spacious apartment in the Upper West Side in 1958. She, in the course of the first season, loses her husband who blames his lack of success on her and loses the financial security he pretended to provide. She hits the comedy club stage and is a sensation. I loved it.

Also streaming on Netflix, I Love Dick. Reviews are mixed, but I devoured it, mostly because of it’s direct and fearless look at women’s sexuality and desire.

The gone-too-soon-Sam Shepherd, Brad Pitt, Casey Affleck in a bitter, bleak Western landscape. Yes please. The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford. 

I grew up loving Glen Campbell. My stepdad died of dementia a few weeks ago. I’ll Be Me is a beautiful poem to Campbell, and his battle with Alzheimer’s, and the people who lost him minute by minute and day by day. Bless us all who have lost loved ones to this disease.

The Diary of a Teenage Girl will freak some folks out because it tells the story of a teenage girl, growing up in San Francisco in the 70s with divorced parents. I identified with so much of this book and it’s honest, tender and very edgy story about a girl’s desperate search for love and her deep sexual desires that overlap and keep her confused and often hurt. She’s a creative force and winds up victorious.

There’s a Southern Accent where I come from. Young uns call it country, Yankees call it dumb. I got my own way of talking, but everything is done with a Southern Accent, where I come from… Thank you Tom Petty. (And no, I don’t have an accent – I’m from Wisconsin.)

More to come. Welcome 2018. Thank you for reading.

“There is… only one of you in all of time, 
this expression is unique.
And if you block it, it will never exist…
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.” 
~~ Martha Graham


3 responses to “Creative again.”

  1. avatar Lynne Lancaster says:

    Beautiful and inspiring. You actually made me want to reach for my diary and a pen–or Netflix! Keep writing.

  2. avatar Gailya Brown says:

    Thank you for this, Ligeia. You know that The 2016 Election left me feeling the same as you. Unlike you, I’ve found it hard to read anything but think pieces by journalists and pundits. I’m trying to change that this year and will take your recommendations to heart. I recently discovered The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel and love it. Like you, I believe in our darkest times, creative expression and discovery can save us. My involvement with a local theatre company has been rewarding and healing.

    Onward together.

  3. avatar Sharon says:

    Lig, excellent column. Nodding my head over here.