After watching the Academy Awards tonight, I’ve got this feeling in my chest. It’s tight and open at the same time. It’s at ease and anxious. It’s the same feeling I have when I stop and think about life–the overwhelming feeling of recognizing its beautiful mysteries, contradictions, and ambiguities.
I’m left with that feeling now because the Oscars are a celebration of creativity. And if I’m truly honest with myself, I feel most alive when I’m creating. No matter if it’s a poem, essay, performance, or conversation with a friend.
The speech that most directly related to all this came from Michael Giacchino who won Best Original Score for his work on “Up”. He said:
I was nine and I asked my dad, ‘Can I have your movie camera? That old wind-up eight milimeter camera that’s in your drawer?’ And he goes, ‘Sure, take it.’ And I took it and I started making movies with it and I started being as creative as I could. And never once in my life did my parents ever say, ‘What you’re doing is a waste of time.’ Never. And I grew up I had teachers, I had colleagues, I had people I worked with all through my life who always told me, ‘What you’re doing is not a waste of time.’ So that was normal to me….
I know there are kids out there who don’t have that support system, so if you’re out there and you’re listening–listen to me: if you want to be creative, get out there and do it. It’s not a waste of time.
In the end, the competition doesn’t matter. The support and the love–they do. And creativity? It’s not a waste–it’s life itself.