Distress and Distraction
Personal or public life disrupts focus at times. My mind goes round and round, spinning conversations or retorts, refusing to go in a straight line long enough to produce a journal entry, let alone a blog post. Where does making art, music, or dance fit into times like these?
Processing. Words aren’t the only way to journal. One friend assembles a collage to work through grief, anger, and fear. Another dances in the kitchen.
Transforming. After National Guardsmen killed unarmed students in 1970, survivors channeled their rage into creating Devo and other independent rock bands in nearby Akron, Ohio. Click here for the Chicago Tribune’s “How the Kent State Massacre Changed Music.”
Recharging. A recent lunch conversation turned to the strain of caring for ailing relatives. One woman recalled the joy of escaping into her writing for three consecutive hours, her spirit revived by the respite for creativity.
Not silly in the slightest, Rebecca. For me at different times it can serve any or all of these functions: help me process the emotions, or use that emotional energy to build beauty in the garden, or - sometimes - turn my mind for an hour to something unrelated to what's bothering me.
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I'm a historian who writes novels and literary nonfiction. My home base is Madison, Wisconsin.