I’ve always felt the deep and almost visceral need to create. As a child, I wrote a couple little stories, I did crafts, I did a little sewing, and even wrote a few simple original tunes for the piano. I researched cats, and astronomy, and car engines, and plants, and survival skills, and more. And I learned a lot. It all felt good, but somehow always fell a little short of the mark for me – the rewards too fleeting, the sense of accomplishment somehow incomplete.
By my mid to late twenties, I had seven years of college and three degrees behind me. I had excelled in mastering the “known” in the subjects I studied. I even had some opportunities to dabble in the unknown. I had discovered photography the year before I studied abroad, and that gave me a new media to explore. But still the yearning to create persisted in the background, taunting me when I looked at gorgeous fabrics, or rich paints, or beads. My world opened up immensely when I discovered photo editing. I could take the known and make it newer and fresher—push it into the less familiar. I still get an almost intoxicated rush when I upload a nice photograph and make it better. I love to share that with the world.
When you look at the world through the lens of a camera, you truly do live in the moment. Better still, you get to preserve that moment and share it. My love of nature, together with my passion for photography, is both symbiotic and synergistic: each supports the other, and the results are greater than the sum of the parts. Even so, I was limited to time and place. I couldn’t just dream up a flower out of the air or alter nature’s blooming time. I couldn’t chase the rain away or rally the sun. But by living in the moment, through the viewfinder, I did discover there is beauty to be found at any given time, and that it’s important to search and find. Yes, it came close to meeting the need. But something was still missing.
The pull toward something unfathomable continued well into my marriage and the time when my children were small. I explored some churches, searching for a creed to help define my beliefs, and although I found some that rang true for me, they didn’t belong to me or come from me. They were still external, to a point.
Then I stumbled into some online writing communities, and I started to write stories and poems that had entered my head and cried out to be released.
And the holes in my life began to fill.
Why write? Because I do not need to go somewhere, or have certain weather or materials or money. I don’t need equipment or supplies, or external subjects. My heart swells, my pulse quickens, and my ability to create had found its home. Anything I can dream, I can have and share. I can create something from nothing, and it will last forever.