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The competition of creativity

Out There
Stina Sieg
Post Independent Staff
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado

Last weekend, I saw something I hardly ever do.

I was watching FEAST, this fiery Celtic fusion band, at the Glenwood Springs Center for the Arts. They were playing a kind of momentum-building music, the stuff that draws you out of your head and into your tapping toes.

What amazed me, though, wasn’t so much the listening as the watching. As each musician soloed, I could see the others smiling, their bodies bobbing, completely involved. The drummer would actually close his eyes, press his hands together and bow his head, almost as in prayer. It all felt so genuine, and I wanted to capture it all in a photograph. Instead, I scribbled away in my journal.



I wrote around and around the same idea, something I couldn’t ignore: Can’t it always be this way? Can’t we always support each other like this?

Now, I know that art and ego go hand-in-hand. Really, how could that not be the case? I think ego’s important, actually. I mean, what else is going to keep you from being slapped around in this world?



But, of course, it can hold me back, too. Every once in a little while, when I see an amazing photograph or painting or read a fabulous article, some combination of my ego and the ego of the other artist intimidates me into silence. Part of me wants to congratulate the creator, share my awe. My other half, as disappointing as it might sound, is far less generous. How dare they step into my medium, it thinks. Oh, what an embarrassment.

As I write this, late after deadline, I don’t even know exactly where I’m going, except to say, that I wish it all could be better. I don’t want to force an unrealistic change in myself. I don’t want to bend human nature into some airy fairy, romantic vision. Every weekend here, I am happily shocked by the talent that surrounds me on stages and canvases, in papers. For the most part, I’m able to say, “Hey, that’s amazing.” But every once and a while, I’m scared quiet. That’s when I know the one-upmanship of the creative world has gotten to me.

But it’s always something, I guess. At least I know I can’t be alone in this. Or can I? Now that really would be embarrassing.


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