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creative practicality

I can’t sleep. Well, that is not completely accurate. I can sleep for about 4 to 5 hours then I am awake. Wide awake. Some eternal alarm has gone off and my brain is raring to go. (My body is so very unhappy with my brain.)

This is not a new phenomenon for me. I have dealt with this all throughout my life. Usually it means that I have something weighing on me, am too stressed or I have some creative urge that needs expressing that just cannot seem wait.

I believe this current bout of alertness is because I do not have enough time alone. Enough time and space where there is absolute no outside input. Also, I am in a pretty huge creative flux and these tend to make me restless. A powerful combination of internal need .

So here I am at 3:58 in the am pst sitting on my comfortable couch in front of a roaring fire all cozy and toasty and quiet. (nice huh) The only sound is the keyboard and the crackling of the fire.  Absolute bliss, I can hear myself loud and clear. Can follow a whole and complete thought process all the way through.

I can sit here and stare into the fire for the minute or three it might take catch the hint of the next thread from that initial spark of an idea all the way down to its conclusion or at least right up against the next thread.

I have been playing this need of mine and the time I have to chisel out of my life to get it, as a luxury and not a necessity. Recently in a conversation with a friend who has this same issue, ( I believe, there are a few of us ) we realized that we were portraying this all wrong. Since we both make our living around being creative than it would stand to reason that time for introspection, time to observe, time to process would be not just necessary but crucial.  I would not be able to support my family without this time to be inspired by the world around me.  The time to then process this stimulus and communicate it through whatever medium is my current canvas.

The practical parts of life often take priority over this need. Running a business and a family, being a wife, a friend, a mother.  I find it compelling and a bit disturbing, that although I seem to realize this as a crucial part of making this all work. I still do not list it as a practical part of it all. I am not seeing it thoroughly enough as something that makes the other pieces richer, deeper and whole, or to even exist.

Where would we be without this part of life-truly?  I for one would be up the proverbial creek without a paddle.  Where would we be without the color, poetry and music of life? What would our days and worlds look like?  I know one thing, some of us would be knitting with white yarn. Yikes!

The other natives here are stirring so it must be time to be practical.


  1. Pat Dixon #

    The world of inter would be so bland and boring with a sole like yours…Thank God for YOU!

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  2. Jen #

    I’ve got evidence that your brilliance, creativity, and artistry are recognized, even by non-knitters:

    It was cold in the doc’s office this morning so, in addition to the always lovely “opening in front, please” robe, I kept my socks on.  Doctor walks in and after ritual greetings, exclaims “Oh, my gosh!  Your socks are beeYOUtiful!  I LOVE the colors!”

    Monkey Kaw Kaws grin

    So, while I’d rather you didn’t drive yourself into creative distraction, clearly folks are along for the ride.

    (Doc is a sweetie—I may have to knit her a pair of socks someday!)

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  3. marcy #

    thanks for sharing tina. it helps us all to know that we are not alone.  even at 3 am when we are loving being alone!!!!

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  4. Roxanne #

    I was so glad to see your post about this sudden urge to stay awake and the feelings that this may be some sort of brewing creative process. My only problem is that I used to be able to function just fine on 4 hours of sleep. Now I pay dearly for my creative soirees into the night (or early morning.) Thank you for your posting.

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  5. wow, did i write that or did you?? it sure sounded like me . . . he-he, it’s nice to hear someone else describe the same thing but i still need to fix it; my body isn’t very happy with my brain either.

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  6. NewJerseyLaura #

    Albert Einstein and Thomas Edison didn’t sleep much either smile.  You’re in the company of geniuses.

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  7. Ruth #

    Hi Tina, I’m so glad you put this “urge” into words because so many of us feel it and don’t know how to define it. One problem is that it is hard to get understanding from others, the folks in our lives who don’t realize how important the “alone” time is for our own regeneration as well as the creative process. I’m so glad you are sticking up for your needs because you do so much wonderful stuff for all the rest of us.


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  8. Oh honey. Amen.

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  9. Dyepotgirl #

    Hi Tina, Believe it or not there’s another person on the opposite coast who has the exact same problem (it’s 4:16 a.m. as I write this and I was up at 3:45, which is almost 20 minutes later than normal.) I’m also a dyer (as the name Dyepotgirl would imply.) I just want to reaffirm to you that this quiet time is a necessity, not a luxury. I know that if I don’t get some quiet time to myself to sort things out, I just can’t function. I might be able to do it for a day or so if I have to, but after that things just break down and I get really cranky, and I have to add that my normal nature isn’t cranky LOL! I know that for me, there’s a whole lot of processing that goes on during my early mornings, and most of it I’m not aware of consciously. I think that my brain just needs a period of time with minimal distractions to do it’s thing. Early mornings are usually when I come up with new color ways. I’ll remember something I saw out in the world at another time and it will just kind of bubble up to the surface and remind me of it. Others things pop up too, not just things about business, life, etc. Sometimes it’s just a crystallization of a belief, sometimes it’s something that I can say to someone who needs a bit of help. Most often though I find I have a feeling of connection with things that are greater than I am. Sort of like your gorgeous picture. It seems like the more I have on my plate at any given moment, the more certain parts of me are drowned out by all the external noise. My quiet mornings allow those things that are lost in the hubbub of daily life to have a voice, and they enrich my life in so many ways that I just crave the early morning quiet, that slow bit of time to myself. So, in my life anyways, my early morning solitude is a definite necessity, not a luxury, and it certainly sounds like it’s the same way with you. Have a great morning!

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  10. Great. Now i can say thank you!.

    I am from Serbia and also now’m speaking English, tell me right I wrote the following sentence: “Shopping for plane tickets? Start from here.”

    Thanks :o. Kefira.

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  11. Start from here

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