Janet Baker img

 

a short deliberation on being a creative person
……………………and the relative unimportance of things

glossary: important, as in needs attention, could wait
………………Important, as in needs attention now
………………unimportant, as in never has and never will need attention

there are twenty-four hours in a day, at least a few of which are normally spent sleeping therefore spent in a non-productive state and some of which are spent in a non-productive state due to eating, both of which could be classified as Important so therefore productive, and the problem is the fact that time is limited, we will never have enough of it and if you only have time to do the Important things, according to your own personal classification system, notwithstanding exterior pressures that cannot be ignored or there will undoubtedly be dire consequences, the problem is, if you only do the Important things and leave all the important “needs attention but could wait things” they will pile up and drive you crazy and it’s not as if anyone else will do them because they don’t really care about your personal classification system or what you perceive as important because they don’t understand, as in stop wasting your time and get on with what’s Important, and if the truth be known what you perceive as important may not be at all important, but if it’s on your list and doesn’t get done and things pile up you will become stressed and miserable and overwhelmed and ineffective and it’s not that easy to let something go if it’s on your to-do list because you’re the one who put it there which means it’s important according to your scale of importance, and it means you’re going to spend time on it and it may be that it’s not important or Important and it may even be unimportant and most people can agree somewhat on what’s Important but the reality is the Important things seem to take longer and longer to deal with as you get older and there’s less and less time for the important things that are piling up and you will be on overload if you can’t limit them and that’s when you have to have a good talk with yourself which usually isn’t too effective because old habits die hard and we all have our quirks and we need to be tolerant of other people’s quirks and if they appear to be wasting time they might be, but can’t help themselves and if you are a writer you can write about your quirks and you can write about the distinct possibility that some of the things you spend time on may be unimportant in the grand scheme of things, and it’s impossible to explain what you do anyway because any concept of time spent to achieve results is completely irrelevant in any creative endeavour, and therefore could be seen in some quarters as unimportant, so your only hope is to eat your veggies and try to get enough sleep to keep yourself from becoming a zombie and try to do everything, and write about it in such a moving and effective manner as to make it Important

 

Janet Baker is a visual artist living in Mississauga, Ontario. In 2010, her first published poem was included in Walk Myself Home: an anthology to end violence against women. Her personal essay “Story” is included in the anthology How To Expect What You’re Not Expecting (TouchWood Editions, 2013).

To view other poems published in this issue please visit Vallum’s website.