monique polak

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1 minute reading time (235 words)

Lynda Barry on Creativity

I spent the weekend with a very dear friend in Kingston, Ontario. On the drive home, I listened to a really good CBC interview with American novelist/graphic artist/playwright Lynda Barry. I have toadmit I'd never heard of her before, but now I am planning to read her work. Barry's most recent book is What It Is.

Apparently Barry has a special interest in writing about and drawing kids. The interviewer, Eleanor Wachtel, asked Barry why that is. Barry's answer was so interesting I had to pull my pen out of my purse and scribble it down (don't worry... I kept one hand on the steering wheel!). Here's what she said: "There's a vividness and aliveness of childhood ... that drives your pen." Then she talked about adolescence, describing it as: "soulful and you can't get away." I'd never thought about adolescence in that way, but Barry's words rang true for me, too. And I think I can bring that feeling of not being able to get away into the story I'm working on. 

Finally, the last thing I scribbled on my paper bag (it had a tuna sandwich in it before it became my notepad!!) was when Barry quoted British psychiatrist Donald Winnicott who said, "Let me be alive when I die." For me, that means our life's work is to become more alive and more authentic every day. How are you doing at that? 

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Wednesday, 21 October 2020

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