It wasn’t that long ago that we humans lived according to the seasons. Here in North America, we aired out our houses and planted in the spring; worked hard through the summer, sometimes taking siestas from the hot midday sun; we reaped what we had sown in the fall and we put up our stores for the winter; and in winter, we rested and repaired both ourselves and our tools. Over the last century, however, with the dawn of electric lights, television and the Internet, our lives have become untethered from the seasonal cycles and even from the cycles of the days as we hunch over our lighted laptops or phone screens well into the dark. Now, our only concession to the season is to add layers of clothing based on the temperature.
But, just because we CAN now work 24 x 7 x 365 doesn’t mean that we are meant to or that our bodies have evolved past expecting a seasonal cycle. Our creativity works the same way; it too has a seasonal cycle, though not necessarily one tied to the earth’s seasons. Throughout out the year, it is natural to have periods of great creative inspiration, the spring during which ideas flow like the sap in the trees. Those periods of flowering may well be followed by the summer months of production. Then, it’s natural to have slower times to wrap up projects, reflect on what we’ve done, and rest our bodies and our minds for a new season of creativity. So, do not be dismayed if you find your creativity slowing down. It’s a natural process. Don’t throw on your electric lights and try to keep working through the dark, cold winter months, but go into the cycle and rest.
I am myself in the midst of a creative winter. From November, when I began planning the Disarming exhibit through March, I was in my summer months, working hard creating quilts and planning how to hang them. My fall was very brief and busy, coming during the month of April as I readied for the exhibit opening on April 20th. Once the quilts were hanging, my winter began and I have been resting, repairing, and getting back to some long-neglected projects. It’s not a period totally lacking in creativity, but the pace has slowed down considerably and that is just the way it should be.
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