I had a lull in work recently and although I normally have a bit of a twitch or a slight panic attack, I’ve learned to use the time wisely to invest myself in pursuits that will either entertain me, enrich me or a little of both.
Lately, I’ve been doing a lot of photography and figured out yesterday while putzing around with my digital camera how to shoot video. I sat in the yard, on the porch and watched birds do their little social activities.
Birds are funny if you watch them long and often enough. They have their own personalities – and their personalities are kind of species driven. Robins are kind of neurotic, while Blue Jays are territorial. Starlings just like to screw with the other birds. Well, at least in my yard.
I heard a long time ago that if one just turns off the television that there is a lot to be seen in the world if you are still long enough and are paying attention. I was raised by a television, and can endlessly watch pretty much any crap a programmer puts on there. But I cancelled my cable about 2 years ago and now I have all this extra time to do other things. And ya know, it’s really liberating. I don’t feel as nervous as I used to be. I used to inundate myself with news — the constant cycle of CNNMSNBCFOXTOMBROKAWNIGHTLYNEWSDANRATHERWORLDNEWSTONIGHT. Since I stopped watching and ceased to allow the fear to be injected, I’m a hell of a lot happier and a lot more creative. I chalk it up to getting in touch with that inner 6 year old. When you’re a kid – in an ideal childhood, anyway – you have all these adults worrying about your well-being and you’re free to color roses blue or believe in unicorns. Then you grow up and you realize that only fake roses are blue and there’s no such thing as unicorns. And that can be limiting.
Which reminds me of this quote:
Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up. Pablo Picasso.
So, back to the birds. I sat yesterday with a cold beer and watched the birds socialize and fight and it totally relaxed me. I filmed them because they were making me laugh and I was just goofing off with this new toy. But, then I came in, dumped the video to the computer and started playing in iMovie and that set off this whole new creative pursuit. Here I am, a print designer who has normally been content to sit and watch images on a stagnant screen but now I have the option to watch things move and have the ability to control a story – this is a whole new world. And I’m super excited.
No movies to show yet, and they’re just stupid bird movies and films of my cat eating or licking himself, but hopefully I’ll come up with someone nifty once I master the learning curve of iMovie.