The Warm Fuzzies

The Warm Fuzzies

Hearty rainbows born from the wisdom of Anais Nin and good vibes of Ozzie Wright
Hearty rainbows born from the wisdom of Anais Nin and good vibes of Ozzie Wright

I’ve never considered myself a creative soul. I used to love drawing cartoons when I was young- transforming Bart Simpson into Batman. Writing stories. Scribbling patterns and faces in margins when I’d tuned off in class. But I can’t ever remember being praised for my efforts. I wasn’t good at art.

As time went on I learned, as do many of us living in the Western world, that doing things and getting things done was important. And even better than that, was doing things well. Being good at something. But the best thing of all was to be the best at something.

Squandering precious time on pursuits you weren’t good at and couldn’t make a career out of seemed like folly. Wasteful. So I channeled my time and energy into being good at things. For me, those things were competitive swimming and school. And I guess I was reasonably good at these things. Except the problem with aspiring to be good, or even the best, is that there is usually someone better. Or if you are the best, you’ll always find yourself starting over again at some point in your life. Eyeing off the next finish line and subsequently losing unique moments along the way.

When I began surfing in my mid- 20’s I would never have forecast the way it would swing my outlook on life 180 degrees. I not only became stoked on the act of surfing, which is of course a form of artistry in itself. But it lit a creative flame inside and rebooted the right side of my brain, which had lain dormant for so long.

I devoured surfing books and DVD’s, soaking in the personalities of this inspired way of life. Hanging Five directed by Chris Cutri is one of my favourite movies. It profiles five surfer/artists, exploring the way surf culture both feeds and complements their art. In it Californian surfer and artist Andy Davis says of art “It could be cooking. It could be gardening. It could be being a Dad. It’s just the way you look at things”. What a way to view the world- life as art!

And yet, I hate to say I find this so difficult to put into practice. Prioritizing the time to create something for the sheer delight of it feels so silly and indulgent- spawning a tug of war struggle in my mind.

I can see the to-do list relentlessly piling up, towering above like a never-ending game of Tetris- challenging me to keep pace. Onwards and upwards. Always. Productivity, the brazen seductress beckons alluringly- waving the coveted trophy of achievement. The satisfaction of ticking off another box.

But wait. Stop! Is this really how I want to spend my life? Ticking off boxes. It demands a firm resolve to stop running forwards, for me anyway. To make a conscious choice to devote time to something joyful. An act that makes my heart sing.

I need to buy time and pay for it by getting less done. Abandoning that work, those bills, that load of washing or that pile of assorted junk the kids have strewn around the house. I seriously still can’t wrap my head around how children can trash a pristine house in nanoseconds! Actually, I’m tripping- my house is NEVER pristine!

Ever slowly I am learning to loosen my grip on getting things done, being good at things, being the best at things. Because that way of life is stifling and dull. Constantly striving for a payoff kills the joy of the jaunt.

And so now I have a crack at things. No matter if I’m good at them or not. Ironically, sometimes being a lousy beginner at something is enjoyable. Think “Beginner’s mind” in Buddhism- open and free of preconceptions. I still wrestle with my mind to haphazardly and sporadically steal chunks of time from the madness that is our household. Scrawling poscas on my surfboards. Sketching pictures from photos or magazines. The odd poem here. Painting patterns there. And I’m always grateful I did.

Not long ago I finished a simple artwork inspired by Ozzie Wright’s anti-bad vibes shield. Because if there’s anyone that looks like they are frolicking through life in creative bliss- it’s freesurfer Ozzie Wright! Check out his colourful abode profiled on the Design Files.

I look at my artwork now- and geez it makes me smile. It genuinely gives me the warm fuzzies.

Because creating something is magical. Whatever it is. A conversation with someone you love. A bush walk. Dancing to the radio. We are forever creating moments in our lives. And really, if we push all of the seemingly important crap aside, what else is life for but to enjoy those moments?

2 Replies to “The Warm Fuzzies”

  1. Holy moly… That was a wonderful read – a joy to read even. I truely hung on every word and was nodding along the way in agreement. I try all the time to be creative, i love the buzz of starting something new and seeing how far it will take me. My house is always a mess, probably so is my mind, but when I do something creative I feel alive. And you just put into words everything I feel when I give in to it. xxx shereen

    1. Oh thanks so much Shereen! Haha…yes I feel like my mind is always a mess too! Yes…it’s not easy to do- but you just have to make time for the things that make your heart sing 🙂

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: