I just finished reading , “Sleeping with Schubert” by Bonnie Marson, a fun story about a Brooklyn lawyer who suddenly finds that the spirit of Franz Schubert had taken up residence in her body, and overnight she can play the piano like he did. As I read it I thought, “This is the perfect summer read; light, fun, engaging”. I hadn’t heard of Bonnie Marson before and in the back of the book it said, “Bonnie Marson is an artist who has worked in many media–painting, drawing, photography, ceramics and mosaics…”
My first thought was, “Wow, she wrote a book, this good, without being a writer from the time she was 10?!” I had always felt like it was a flaw of mine that I did not stick to one thing and “perfect” it (steadily work at it my entire life). There seems to be an unspoken rule that if you are good at something, you must do it forever, even if you don’t want to anymore, or if you have not found “it” (the one thing that you are supposed to be good at in this lifetime), then you have missed out on your life’s calling and it is your fault because you should have figured it out, and it has to be something that pays and has a clear career path (which leaves out, for most of us, cooking, gardening, shelter/rescue work, bird watching…etc.).
I am coming to believe that the spirit of creativity is very fluid, flexible and fun, and that it can move us into totally new areas of expression …if we allow it. I also love the idea that you can become really good at something, maybe even great, at any age…even if you have never done it before, and just maybe you can be really good at 2 or 3 or 4 things…the possibilites may be limitless to what we can do (and enjoy) if we are open and willing to be swept along!
Below is a bit of Bonnie’s story that I found on-line. She was being interviewed about her success and her journey.
Tell us about a time when you were in fear about your creative career journey and you didn’t think it would go anywhere…
“I’ve made art all my life except for one little detour…
Divorced and needing a steady income, I took a job as PR director for a school district. This meant plenty of security, vacation time, and money, so I stayed nearly seven years. In other words, I’d been bought.
I wound up giving so much time and energy to work that there was nothing left for art. It all became clear to me during, of all things, a school board meeting. Deeply bored, I started thinking about art and realized I hadn’t painted or drawn anything in months. Okay, years. Then I calculated that I’d spent more than 200 nights at school board meetings. I quit the next day.
Did I have a survival plan? Vague notions at best. But, hey, attending 200 school-board meetings in one lifetime is more than anyone should endure. More important, I had let my art slide for far too long. If I hadn’t turned things around at that moment, I could still be lost in well-paid hell. I’ve never looked back”.