Hello and Happy New Year from Prince Edward County!
After digging ourselves out of a very snowy holiday season, we’re almost ready to pull the curtain on Driftwood’s plans for our 29th season. Almost, but not quite.
I’ve always worked from home. It’s one of the great perks of running a non-venued theatre company. Since moving to Picton, home has also come to include a second business, a licensed Bed & Breakfast (www.instagram.com/gillespiehousebnb), and our house is now a hub activity.
This summer we’ll welcome artists and staff here for the duration of rehearsals and preparation for the summer season; a place to come together in the celebration of our imaginations and creativity. Throughout the rest of the year, we’ll welcome guests as they embark upon their own adventures here in PEC.
Today the house is empty, as my family are off at school and work. After a December filled with the hustle and bustle of construction, it’s nice to have some quiet in the house again. It’s also helpful, given that I’ve been doing a lot of writing lately.
This is a distinctly different experience for me: writing. Not grant or administrative writing (I do those things all the time), but writing as an art form. It’s been a little like dragging out my sketchbook after months of letting the practice slip. I find myself hesitant. Too often, my brain gets in the way of any progress – self-doubt crippling any meaningful momentum.
As I meander through the empty house on my way to my desk, I’m finding inspiration from my daughters who, even when they aren’t at home leave constant reminders of their presence: the hand-made multi-coloured necklace hanging from a doorknob, the recently-completed 1,000 piece Harry Potter Lego set proudly displayed in the fire room, countless canvasses and pages of art strewn about the house, a giant cardboard box decked out as a Club House making a statement in the front hall.
As much as it might frustrate me to constantly be tidying the detritus of my children’s creativity, I do hope they continue to create and imagine with such fearlessness.
It’s ironic how, when we’re kids, our imagination is the progenitor of all our fears (last night I was up four times consoling both kids after nightmares) and yet we’re often more fearless in the way in which we explore the world and express ourselves. We just haven’t learned to fear the dragon of self-doubt, haven’t armored ourselves against the barrage of other people’s judgement.
When a kid commits to doing something, they do it with relentless abandon. They imagine completely, freely and without hesitation. It’s an important lesson, really. A great reminder of the power we all hold within ourselves.
As I continue to write, I’m going to try and hold onto that willingness to play, to explore, to create. Just get in there and do it.
And when my daughters get home, instead of chastising them for not cleaning up, I’m going to tell them how delighted by and proud I am of their boundless creativity (ok, and then maybe get them to tidy up a little bit) and join them in the Club House with some Lego.