The Big Scout Project launched on October 26, 2010, my 50th birthday. After hundreds of tasks and lots of personal changes, I’ve learned much more than how to start a fire with a single match.
I learned that I am, in fact, destined to be a lifelong learner. As I write this post, I’m six weeks into yet another online course (Emory University’s The Addicted Brain on Coursera). The biology and chemistry are kicking my ass but I’m learning a ton. And, honestly, I’ve realized that I prefer the challenge of a university course to a significantly easier junior scout badge task.
I learned that I really am an introvert, even though this surprises others. If (God forbid), a dangerous gas is ever released in this vicinity, I’ll be fine staying indoors for a few months. Not so sure about Freida, the dog. But while I’m pretty darned self-sufficient and comfortable in solitude, I also learned that if I need help with just about anything, I have incredible family by both blood and choice who are there for me.
I learned what church is. For me, church is about giving something and finding the reward more significant than just about anything. That’s why my church happens at noon on Fridays when I pass through the thick metal doors and razor wire of the Travis County Correctional Center to teach guitar and songwriting to women inmates. No matter what’s happened in my week, this single hour makes everything right. It’s been the quiet highlight of my life for the past two years.
I also learned that I am compelled to create. I don’t care if it’s a song, a painting, a photo, or an essay. It’s as essential to me as breathing. And I am not at all interested in relegating myself to one creative outlet, even though we live in an age of specialization and niches. I reject the idea that attempting more than one creative pursuit makes one a dilettante. It’s a message I’ve heard all my life, but it’s hogwash. Just ask Joni Mitchell, or Tony Bennett, or Leonard Nimoy–creative generalists, all.
And that’s why I invite you to follow me now on The Creative Generalist, a blog established almost a year ago (!) to chronicle this gal’s creative process, honest failures, happy accidents, and real successes.
Creativity is a muscle. It turns out I have to exercise it as fully; my guitar is my elliptical machine, my paint brushes and palette knives are my dumbbells, and my writing is stretching.
I hope you’ll join me at The Creative Generalist, where I’ll be doing most of my posting going forward.
Thanks and love to all —