Friday, November 22, 2013

Creative Mornings

One morning, a year and a half ago, or so, I went to a talk someone had told me about. And then the next month I went to another and then another and another. This morning was the second anniversary of the first Toronto Creative Mornings talk, and, if I'm counting correctly, the eleventh time I'd got somewhere for 8:30 in the morning to listen to a talk.

Creative Mornings started in New York but has now spread far and wide. I can imagine looking up a CM talk if I were travelling! In Toronto, they are usually on a Friday morning towards the end of the month and the speakers have included lots of people who design things on paper or on the web, or who talk about how cities could be designed, how toys can be designed... and a butcher. Today's talk was by George Elliott Clarke, Toronto's poet laureate. I hadn't even known we had a poet laureate.

Mr Clarke was meant to be talking on the theme of Bravery, but he mostly told the tale of his life (in about 20 minutes or half an hour).

He told about having the art teachers mock him for colouring his valentine pink instead of the correct red, or giving his traced elephant an anti-gravity belt (clearly not proper).  In high school he wrote songs in an attempt to be cool, then learned about poetry to write better songs, then wrote poetry -- I wonder if anyone ever played one of his songs at a school dance... He went to university, got a BA and then a job not at all in his field, which provided him with material for writing poems and publishing a monthly paper, which led him to working in Ottawa for someone who inspired him to get a PhD. Now he is a professor, though he hadn't set out to do that. The story is not a straight line, and there's a combo of hard work and good luck and, sounds like, good friends along the way.

These days, with a kid in grade 11 and one just looking for a high school for next year, education and working and getting through school and finding one's way and "success" are always on my mind.

It was a really inspiring talk, with a couple of poems, like this one, thrown in. Lots of things to think about as I try to nudge or back off or encourage or protect or shove my kids, who have no patience with being told what colour to make their valentines, along the road.

1 comment:

  1. What a good idea. I winder if we have that here in Minneapolis St Paul. I would get out early for that.


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