I told a friend today, “I need my own work more than anyone else,” and it’s true. All the things I say, all the music I made, all the advice I give - I need it. I need some of it desperately, like a shipwrecked traveler dying of thirst in an ocean of water.
I’ve been focusing so heavily on being generous and of service within creative community, I realized I’ve forgotten to feed myself the creative food I need to nourish the process I seek to share with others.
Sharing implies something important - that there is extra to give.
When you make sourdough bread, you have to start with something that’s come before. Something that’s been left to ferment for days or weeks or months or years. It’s composition changing over time, but part of the same process.
To make bread, we take the new raw material and add the starter and then later we divide the dough and keep some to start the next batch. A small amount of starter has enough yeast and bacteria to produce many times its own volume.
We end up with far more than we could eat ourselves. So we give it away. We share.
Our process needs to be fed. Leave it too long without adding flour and it’ll waste away. If we don’t retain that bit that feeds us, we end up without the starting ingredients to create something new.
A starving baker would be alarming indeed, yet artists regularly die of the lack of spiritual nourishment they give to so many others.
I create the work I do because it’s the work I need. It’s the direct results of my experience, my preoccupation, my desires, my questions, and my dreams. This bread is the perfect food for me, but only if I stop to appreciate its smell, and to eat in the kitchen with a smile on my face, dropping crumbs all down my dress.