For When a Blue Mood Strikes

One Sunday in winter, I stepped into a funk.

Perhaps you know the kind: flat energy, periods where there are usually exclamation points, able to swallow one good thought with a bigger, more discouraging one.

When the blue mood arrived, I’d been eating pretzels and reading a book on creativity. Which turned out to be a terrific gift.

Creativity is about bringing something into existence - an essay or spinach quiche, a bouquet of carnations or a costume party. As I see it, if it wasn’t in the world before we made it, then making it is an act of creativity.

I put the book down. I kept eating the pretzels. And I did what often helps me to see beyond a funk: I created something - this Lightning Note, in fact.

I see it as the process of not letting a powerful feeling go to creative waste. We can put it to work for us, use it, harness it, marshal it into something that wasn’t in the world before.

This isn’t a funk-evaporation technique; it’s being able to see outside the scope of our funk. Because a funk, like every piece of us, isn’t all of us. There are other pieces of us available, too. And some of those pieces wake up and get to work when we compose a thoughtful email, reorganize the bedroom furniture, draw or garden, paint or knit.

Writing this Note got me outside that blue mood and into other pieces of myself - curious pieces, word-loving and grammar-crazy pieces, irreverent and playful pieces.

When I put the final period on this Note, my pretzels were finished. My blue mood was not. But with curiosity, irreverence, and playfulness taking up so much headspace, that funk had gotten crowded out of my mind’s living room and was now out in the woodshed.

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