The Oscar-winning movie, Birdman, really struck a chord with me. I’ve never been involved in theater, but it spoke to me as a writer and a creative person. It beautifully depicted the tightrope creative people walk between our world and the “real” world.
I’ve never felt I belong in the “real” world. What is important to me (creativity, wonder, imagination) isn’t valued by the “real” world. I feel like I need to pretend to be someone else to function in the “real” world. This resonated in my bones when Edward Norton’s character talks about how he’s really himself only when he’s on-stage and it’s all the time off-stage when he’s playing a role.
The older we are, the more this schism eats at us. Sometimes I resent operating in the “real” world. Why would I want to live in a world of boring cubicles, beige sedans, and cookie-cutter houses when I could be living in a fantasy novel, painting narwhals, or napping on the sunny side of a cloud?
I understand why the “real” world can’t better appreciate what we see. Some people are happy with their beige sedan. It takes daring to see something that no one else can see, to receive that download of inspiration and translate it into words or shapes. Your average person on the street isn’t interested in that daring. But creative people use that daring to make the world go ’round. There would be no innovation without creativity, no progress. But change is scary to most people. The masses will clamor for the latest iPhone update, but they still go home in their beige sedan.
Here is one of my favorite quotes: “Only artists create for each other the world that’s fit to live in.” I thought Anais Nin said/wrote it but I couldn’t find it when I tried to look it up. Anyway … this quote is so true for me. I need to connect with other artists so we can validate each other and hold up a mirror to each others’ worlds, which are more real to us than the “real” world.
This is one of the reasons I do creative coaching and want to help other artists and writers, so we can work through the real-world crap together and support one another to make our creative dreams real, so the “real” world becomes colored and shaped by our imaginations and makes it a more satisfying place for us to live.
Leaving the theater after watching Birdman, I was filled with conflicting emotions; grateful to be understood and riled up to support more artists.
So artists, writers, actors, dreamers … come at me. Let’s do the work, let’s help each other, let’s dare dreams into being together.