Episode 388 of the CMP, a Creativity Matters Podcast — rice pudding, check
In this episode of the CMP, some real talk about the isolation brewing as a result of the pandemic. But on the heels of that, story…. and reflection on how “long” it sometimes takes to tell a very simple story. A story can be distilled into a simple subject-verb statement, and you will get the point. But often there is a second part to that, another subject-verb turning the simple statement into a compound sentence. You now have more information. Maybe that’s all you need as a reader or listener. You’ve got enough info. This is the skimming approach, too. And yet how much more there might be to be revealed, woven, brought in, embedded, and gleaned from even a single moment.
I made rice pudding, and it was a flop. That’s the basic story. But if I just tell you that, you don’t know why I made it. Why it mattered and matters. You don’t know that I almost decided not to make it, and then the pandemic made it a clear to-do. You don’t know that I had no sugar, or what I used the last of it on, or that it has been really hard to get sugar (or groceries at all). You don’t know that once I had sugar (too much sugar even, in three varieties), there was a problem with the rice. And on and on and on.
I love the way little things all pile together to create a story. I love knowing that a simple spoonful of rice pudding brings certain people to mind, and that even the failed rice pudding is still edible and strongly reminds me of my grandmother (who shared my love of rice pudding and/or rice with milk and sugar).
But those details take time. Hearing them or reading them is an exercise in time. Recording them is an exercise in time, and I really felt that when I decided to “draw” my rice pudding moment graphic novel style (or cartoon-style, if you prefer).
There is no magic lesson in this story, just a meandering dialogue about story, as well as the sharing of a single item from my list and the ways in which checking off a single thing stands alone…. important.
The second rice pudding, by the way, turned out great! It’s still nice and creamy even after being put in the fridge. Although I didn’t really need to make it again, I’m glad I did. It’s nice to check this off on a positive note. It’s even nice to have had this funny full-circle experience with the shortage, the rancid rice, the failure, and then the creative exercise in recording that in panels.
I hope you are writing down or otherwise recording what you eat in these days. Eating and food preparation and food procurement has definitely become a creative act for many people. That’s a good thing! Jotting down what you ate or what you tried or what you combined is one way to help distinguish the days one from another.
The rest of the show? Yes… there’s a white-crowned sparrow moment in there, for those of you listening, with an allusion to a book I just finished (and really enjoyed). And, yes, there is a moment about feeling “squirrely.” There is also talk about the wonderful freedom in being able to walk right up the middle of the street. There are silver linings and gifts in these days.
It can be easy to get weighed down by everything going on, by the anxiety and the uncertainty. But there are silver linings and gifts. I encourage you to look for them.
(The looking, in and of itself, offers a different mindset. You might find that the act of seeking and discovering helps shift your perspective in meaningful ways.)
Mentioned in this Episode (or Related)
- Guitar music: Nicholai Heidlas on SoundCloud
- Creativity Matters Group at Facebook
- Patreon page
- oamyoamy at Instagram
- Try Creative Bug with the Living a More Creative Life: 30 Ways in 30 Days class
- Try Trello
A note about Trello: I’m feeling really productive with my reading and my “To Read” list this year using Trello. I use Trello for other things, including tracking my 50 Before 50 list, but I am finding new book lover’s peace this year with Trello boards set up to help me keep track of books I want to read, Kindle books I snag on a deal, books I hear about in groups or on other podcasts, and then the books I actually am reading or listening to. If you haven’t tried Trello, you should! (It’s free!)