Step Outside Your Soul

Friday night, my parents had me over for dinner.  I have been so busy that I rarely see them, despite living in the same city.  Thus, they have started inviting me over for dinner to ensure that they do see me.  I do like seeing them over the weekend, though, for two reasons.  First, I don’t feel quite as rushed as I do during the week.  Second, my mom is usually buzzing.  On Friday afternoons, she gets together with her art group, which is a group of women who are all fiber artists.  During these sessions, the members share what they have been working on, getting/giving feedback and suggestions and trying out new techniques.  My mom loves these days and always comes back with some new idea or something to change on one of her current pieces.  I love seeing her energy and excitement.  I always remember my mom having these bursts of creativity.  When I was young, I waited for her to finish a piece in the hopes that I might be able to use some of her leftover materials to create something myself.  Sometimes, the materials were expensive oil paints and, other times, they were charcoal or pencils.  I loved it and desperately wanted to have not only her talent but also her creative genius.  I tried hard in my school art classes, but was not successful.  I couldn’t create what I envisioned in my head and never seemed to “let go”enough to really create something new.  I blamed my father who has a much more analytical brain, one that excelled in math and science.  The claim I made was that his gene was dominant.  I accepted my role as cheerleader, as an appreciator of art, as someone who offered thoughts and opinions to my mom.  Still, I took art history in college and visited many, many art museums.  While I couldn’t be an artist, I wouldn’t be a math/science person either.  

When I discovered Duran Duran as a fan, I think that part of what caught my attention was that I saw the same energy and excitement that I saw in my mom.  It seemed like Duran was always creating.  They weren’t content to just perform.  No, they had to write their own music.  Their videos were more than simple advertisements for their songs.  They were mini-movies with storylines and other film elements.  They embraced other arts as well whether that would be Nick’s photography, John’s graphic arts and acting, and even Roger’s DJing.  They saw and embraced art in their image and their fashion choices.  It seemed like Duran was always trying to do something new.  Some examples include having the first downloaded single in Electric Barbarella, using flash technology for the video of Someone Else Not Me, having the 3-D song in Live from London, etc.  I admired all of those attempts at something new, something special, something more creative even if they didn’t work as well or didn’t stand up with the passing of time.  I also remember reading articles or interviews in which John Taylor has talked about the importance of having passion for something.  This passion makes all the difference in succeeding in whatever you want to do with your life.  (I can’t remember the exact quote but this is the feeling I remember from it.)

This weekend, I keep thinking about my mom and Duran.  I keep thinking about energy, excitement, creativity, innovation, passion, and every other synonym to these words.  I think about the book I just finished in my book club, Where’d You Go, Bernadette, by Maria Semple.  This book focused on a woman who was a genius in her field of architecture.  At one point in the book, her boss said, “People like you must create.  If you don’t create, Bernadette, you will become a menace to society.” (Semple 114)  Is this true?  Do all creative people need to create?  Does Duran feel it necessary to create?  Would there be negative consequences if they didn’t?  This particular character believes that the consequences would be felt by society.  Could the consequences be personal as well?  I know it would be for my mother.  Does this enter into the band’s decisions to make the next album or the next project?  As I think about this, I start to turn inward to look at myself.  I’m not a fiber artist like my mom.  I’m not a musician like the members of Duran.  I’m not any kind of artist in the other areas that Duran has dived into.  Yet, the longer I do this, the longer I write, the longer I do things like fan events, the more my thoughts about myself start to shift.

As I stated in the beginning of this post, I accepted that I wasn’t an artist.  I accepted that I fit in between the innovative mother and the scientific father to become a social scientist.  I could be analytical but about people, groups, society.  I could accept that there were no definitive answers when studying human beings but that conclusions could be drawn based on systematic research and experiences.  I still believe all that.  I still believe that I’m a social scientist.  Yet, my findings as a social scientist has been producing bursts of energy and excitement about projects that Rhonda and I are working on or will be working on.  These bursts are just like what I see in my mom or in the band when they are discussing a new project.  I feel my passion in fandom coming through, loud and clear, in both my writing and in past and future fan events.  I feel creative.  This feeling I have right now reminds me of another quote from the book I mentioned, “My heart started racing, not the bad kind of heart racing, like, I’m going to die.  But the good kind of heart racing, like, Hello, can I help you with something?  If not, please step aside because I’m about to kick the shit out of life.”  (Semple 262)  Yeah, that’s where I am.  Who I am?  I believe that I am an artistic social scientist.

-A

Semple, Maria. Where’d You Go, Bernadette.  New York:  Little, Brown and Company.  2013.  iTunes  book.

Art by Linda Pustz.  The first piece is called “Door-Open or Closed?”  It is one of my favorite pieces of hers and one that resonates with me, at this point in my life.  The second piece is her interpretation of Duran Duran’s Planet Earth that she made especially for me.  🙂

2 thoughts on “Step Outside Your Soul”

  1. Telling you about the liaison between my passion for music-DD and my parents: my parents were strict and didn't want me to learn playing an instrument when I was a kid, although I told them I disliked how music was taken into consideration during the music lessons in my school.
    They encouraged me to love my music, to let it grow as a real passion, even advicing me on the records to buy.
    They noticed my growing passion for the band and just let me go.
    When I last spoke to Dad, the last time ever I could see him before falling into my coma, as he died while I was still away from this world, so to speak, he even told me to carry on laughing and “chatting” with the guys!!! LOL .
    I grew up remaining as a devoted music fan, of DD and otherwise, keeping in mind my parents' restrictions when it's due and … no, I haven't learn playing my fave instrument yet.
    Thank you dad and mum!

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