Sunday, June 24, 2007

Okay, Okay, an Artist Date

My husband was out sailing all day yesterday so I did my first Artist Date.

Spending three hours cleaning house, making iced tea, and pounding chicken may not sound all that "festive" but it was to me.

First off, I cranked up the music, which I don't get to do that often. Then I cleaned. For me, cleaning is theraputic. It is the way I create order out of chaos. I love making the glass-topped tables shine, sucking up the kitty litter on the carpet, and getting rid of the galaxy of seeds my husband left on the counter when he toasted his bagel. A mad cleaning binge is how I make myself feel relaxed when I've had a particularly stressful time. Kind of like a more labor-intensive sage burning.

Also I danced.

Then I made four pitchers of different flavors of iced tea/coffee for the week: blueberry decaf for my husband to drink during the day; caf Constant Comment; caf peppermint (which required a trip to the roof to cut some mint leaves--to my surprise, they survived the winter and my lack of watering); and I turned our leftover morning coffee into iced coffee. The secret, you see, is to melt the sugar in hot water so it doesn't turn to grit at the bottom.

Then I stuck my nose in all four pitchers and inhaled deeply, because blueberry tea smells good. Which prompted me to go eat the dried blueberries we bought at Costco. Now I am full of anti-oxidants.

Then I prepped dinner (chicken cutlets with lemon, white wine, dill, and butter) by pounding the hell out of the chicken. If you think banging something with a metal mallet while dancing and singing isn't festive, you're in need of a re-think.

While I did all this, I thought about creativity and what it means to me. I take the definition literally: the act of making something new. It can be made of parts already built by other people. But they should be put together in new ways. Hence, I think of playing certain computer games as being creative (yes, that was my own work.) Cooking is certainly creative. Ms Theologian tells me that captioning pictures of my cats is creative. I will argue to the bitter end that Excel can be creative, especially since a blank spreadsheet sets my fingers itching in the same way a blank canvas does a painter.

But cleaning can be too, particularly you live with my husband (who is equally creative in his messmaking.) You are creating order out of chaos. Serenity in your life. You are taking what you have and building something meaningful by enforcing your will on its tendency to collapse.

At least, that's my argument for not bothering to leave the house.


Ms. Theologian said...

I find cleaning can be meditative. I mopped the wooden floors yesterday and found it really relaxing. Nice artist date! I especially like the sensory details!

Linera Lucas said...

I had an artist date at home last week too. I sat in the back yard in a comfy spot with a glass of ginger ale and a good book and the dog, and we just enjoyed the heck out of the afternoon. I think what made it a DATE was that I did not weed, or prune or fiddle or fuss. I basked. (albeit in the shade. can one bask in the shade? hmmmm.)

GhostGirl said...

When it's hot out, yes, you can totally bask.

I do the reading (with the cats) thing all the time. So I guess I'm constantly dating.