Thank You Ms. Tharp

I just finished reading Twlya Tharp's The Creative Habit. It was quite perfectly the perfect book for the place I am in right now.
Why do we do what we do?
How do we do what we do?
When can we do what we do?
What's the point of what we do?
What happens when there's little inspiration?
What happens when there's too much?
How do we feel about what we do? And keep on doing it.
It's not a self help type book. I'm not a self help book person (no offense), although I do love me a good enlightening quote as long as there is not a glossy photograph of an impeccably perfect road lined with autumnal trees bending into the horizon right above (you know those posters).
It's not a do -this- and- you- will -get- that book. It's simply insightful and shines the light on a lot of questions I have always had (see above) all from the perspective of a 60 something brilliant dancer and masterful choreographer. She's been there, she's got some ideas and they are great.
Best of all, I've been thinking a lot lately (there I go again) about how much I thought I would have "done" by now and every once in awhile one of those 27 year old cute little designer/artist types will get the best of me with how much stuff they put out (and I do enjoy them don't get me wrong)....

Tharp puts it so concisely,
"I was 58 years old when I finally felt like a master choreographer....For the first time in my career I felt in control of all of the components that go into making a dance-the music, the steps, the patterns, the deployment of people onstage, the clarity of purpose. Finally I had the skills to close the gap between what I could see in my mind and what I could actually get on stage."

"What's wrong with getting better as you get more work under your belt? The libraries and archives and museums are packed with early bloomers and one trick ponies who said everything they had to say in their first novel, who could only compose one good tune, whose canvases kept repeating the same dogged theme. My respect has always gone to those who are in it for the long haul. When people who have demonstrated talent fizzle out or disappear after early creative success, it's not because their gifts abandoned them; more likely they abandoned their gift through a failure of perspiration."

Well said, well said.....people, I know I'm in it for the long haul, rolling up my sleeves, sweating through my cardigans, happy with the grooves, trying to navigate the ruts and bridging that gap between what's in my mind (or not sometimes) and what's on paper. I hope you are too.
(Now, read the book-you'll be glad you did).


Adrienne Hedger said…
Hi! Just found your blog and I'm really enjoying it. I'm a writer and illustrator in California and I, too, read Twyla Tharp's book. It was great. I especially liked the part when she talked about inexperience. She said that inexperience erases fear. You don't know what is/is not possible, therefore anything is possible. Then she shares a great quote from Hemingway: "The thing is to become a master and in your old age to acquire the courage to do what children did when they knew nothing." Good stuff!

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