Slippery-Fish“The inner fire is the most important thing mankind possesses.”                                          – Edith Södergran
       What does the word “Create” mean to you?
       According to the dictionary it means – to make,  cause to be, to become. But Vera Nazarian captured the meaning exactly. I envy her the ability to describe it so perfectly. Look at this…
“One of the strangest things is the act of creation.
You are faced with a blank slate—a page, a canvas, a block of stone or wood, a silent musical instrument.
You then look inside yourself. You pull and tug and squeeze and fish around for slippery raw shapeless things that swim like fish made of cloud vapor and fill you with living clamor. You latch onto something. And you bring it forth out of your head like Zeus giving birth to Athena.
And as it comes out, it takes shape and tangible form.
It drips on the canvas, and slides through your pen, it springs forth and resonates into the musical strings, and slips along the edge of the sculptor’s tool onto the surface of the wood or marble.
You have given it cohesion. You have brought forth something ordered and beautiful out of nothing.
You have glimpsed the divine.”
       Beautiful, isn’t it?
       I discovered my way of creating through acting. When I was an actress I understood that word intrinsically. I needed to create. I burned to create. You cannot imagine the frustration and utter despair at not being able to create at will. Having to wait for roles was a soul destroying thing. I often envied people that worked for companies like Pact, Napac, Capab or The Loft. There you were assured of roles. But on the other hand, you had to do what roles you were given. You didn’t have the freedom of choice that I had. I could choose which roles I wished to audition for and then if I was lucky the creation came into being .
       Recently Mum was clearing through her files. She had a file made up of the various cards given to her throughout the years, which she had kept for a particular reason. (My Mother is extremely organised!) I found a card that I had given my parents in May 1989. It reads:
May 1989
My darling Mum and Dad
       Just a short note…to thank you both so much for the loan.
I never imagined that at the age of 27 I would still be depending on my parents financially. It is indeed a humbling thing.
       Most people my age own a car, a house, a garden, M-Net, a husband and children. (Not necessarily in that order!) I don’t own those things. Not yet.
       I am not bemoaning that fact. I am simply acknowledging, that years ago, I made that choice. I wanted to act. I still do. But things that are precious have their price and I have never, ever regretted the paying of it. I am just sorry that the two of you have also had to contribute. I wish it could have been otherwise. Maybe one day…..
       Of one thing I am utterly utterly certain: We are here on this earth to create. That creation might take place on a canvas, on a stage, on a page, in a hops field, in a shop fitting firm, in a womb! When we are not creating, we are only half alive. Then what is the point of living anyway?
       And so, Mum and Dad, that is why your daughter does what she does. I am creating, in the way I best know how. Yes, one day I would like to create children so that they too can know the joy, the necessity of giving expression and form to that impulse that burns within them. I hope one day that I too can support them in the realising of their creations.
       Thank you both for that.
       I don’t know if I’m ever going to be ” successful”. I use the inverted commas intentionally! I hope so because I have always had the drive, the wish to be the BEST. But that in itself is not important. What is important is that I am doing what I must do. And believe me, Mum and Dad, I must do it.
       I love you both almost too much.
       Now I no longer act. But I create in another way. I write. I “pull and tug and squeeze and fish around for slippery raw shapeless things that swim like fish made of cloud vapor…”
Often a voice inside of me tends to scream out in a panic stricken voice: “Noooo! I can’t do this! I have nothing! There is nothing to conjure up! I am a blank state of nothingness!”
       Then I take a deep, calming breath and remember.
       When I was working with Janet Suzman on Othello I learnt so much. The lessons she taught us as actors, I still use today as a writer.
         – Listen to what is going on inside of you and react accordingly! Listen…!
         – Why don’t we all have the courage to experiment, to explore?
Laugh. And so instead of “sliding through my pen”,  my creativity tap-dances it’s way onto my keyboard. And there is always the Delete key!

A gorgeous 'Slippery Fish' creation by artist Peter Pharoah
A gorgeous ‘Slippery Fish’ creation by artist Peter Pharoah
        In this lifetime of ours we are all creators. Yes, believe me YOU are a creator! When one is going somewhere special and does one’s hair and face beautifully, one has just formed a “creation.” One creates when making a birthday cake, a new dress, when wrapping up a present with exquisite care and finesse. A beautifully decorated home is a creation. Children with a joyous inquisitiveness are a creation. One creates when making a persons face break into a glorious smile. One creates when making a person give a shout of joy, or terror or warning.
       We are all creators! We create all the time.
       I give a laugh at Dejan Stojanovic. He sums up my thoughts completely when he says:    “Creating means living.”