Saturday, April 18, 2009

Wild Woman of Queens: Notes on Urban Creativity from across the East River.

Sandra Lee Schubert

Dancing on the Head of Pin

The Cathedral Church of Saint John the Divine offers a spiritual home, as well as, opportunities for inspiration for me. Last week it was the cold and dark of Maundy Thursday and this Sunday it was Judy Collins singing Somewhere over the Rainbow during the Easter service.

This week there was a benefit screening of Man on Wire the film about Philippe Petit's planning and execution of his walk between the World Trade Center's north and south tower buildings. It was the first time seeing the film.

I don't remember the buildings being built. I was in high school at the time and fairly certain I was distracted by that experience. Of course, unlike Philippe, I was not inspired by a dream so huge that it would take over my life and drive the course of my existence. My world was driven by getting a prom date. I never went to the prom and Petit walked in the air. I see a clear parallel between the two of us.

Meeting people who have fully lived out their creative dreams while you haven't can drive you to late nights of drinking and smoking, make you reflect, or push you to pursue your own dreams. I don't drink or smoke, therefore, I am more of a late night of mindless TV watching while reflecting on why I don't more fully pursue my inspired dreams type of person.

How are you inspired? Philippe Petit was driven by a dream so large he could do nothing else but accomplish it. Why did the Muse grace him? And have I been denied divine inspiration by the Muse?

My creative drive may be smaller in comparison but it is mine nonetheless. It is up to me to fulfill my own dreams. Watching Man on Wire I wanted to know the joy Philippe Petit had in the middle of the sky.

Fulfilling a large dream so early in his life did not dull his enthusiasm for the rest of his life. On stage, after the film, his joy was just as unbridled as on the wire. He balanced a flower on his nose. What he wanted us to know was that it was the second of balance that was perfect, every thing else was just wrapped around that moment.

Can I create that perfect second?

Sandra's e-course leads people to be their creative best through telling their stories. She is a creative vagabond, a poet, writer who co-facilitates the Wild Angels Poets and Writers Group at the historic Cathedral Church of Saint John the Divine.Writing for Life: Creating a Story of Your Own. Visit her blog: Email her sandraleeschubert(at) or @writing4life via twitter.

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