It seems that creativity, whether birdsong, painting, or songwriting, is as adaptive as anything else. Genius – the emergence of a truly remarkable and memorable work – seems to appear when a thing is perfectly suited to its context. When something works, it strikes us as not just being a clever adaptation, but as emotionally resonant as well. When the right thing is in the right place, we are moved . . . In my experience, the emotionally charged content always lies there, hidden, waiting to be tapped, and although musicians tailor and mold their work to how and where it will be heard or seen, the agony and the ecstasy can be relied on to fill whatever shape is available. We do express our emotions, our reactions to events, breakups and infatuations, but the way we do that – the art of it – is in putting them into prescribed forms or squeezing them into new forms that perfectly fit some emerging context. That's part of the creative process, and we do it instinctively; we internalize it, like birds do. And it's a joy to sing, like the birds do.
How Music Works, 29-30
Even though I've been getting to know Brookline for 5 months now, I've only just started to carve out a place to start pumping out new paintings. I miss having fellow art folk everywhere to bounce ideas off of, but the solitary atmosphere ain't that bad. I have a long table to organize my supplies, a comfy place to sit when my back needs a rest, a kitchen for snack breaks, and two rambunctious pet rats -- the perfect remedy for exhaustion and a foul mood. It only took 5 months of creative lethargy.
Splitting my time between Endicott and Brookline indefinitely is not like living in Paris for a predetermined 4 months or living on a farm for the two months between the arrival and departure dates on a plane ticket. There's no one saying "You're on a JOURNEY!! Enjoy it while it lasts!" In Endicott, I'm surrounded by restaurants and houses I've grown up around, and I'm comfortable. Endicott and I will be together til death do us part (which I mean quite literally. Having my ashes spread at sea seems more appealing than a burial in a toxic plume. No offense IBM.)
In Brookline, Boston is next door, and we can see each other whenever we want. Lately I've just been going into the city for a movie, the MFA, or concerts. It's casual. No Duck Tours yet. I think around the time I load up a Charlie Card for the first time and stop buying measly one-trip T tickets, I'll bring Beantown and I to the next level. I'm guessing in the springtime, when the benches aren't so cold to the butt.
Hannah Dunscombe is a painter and portrait artist based out of Brookline, MA.