A Song of Creativity on Guitar, Violin, and Heartstrings. People Speak and Sing, on this Threshold. Musicians, Makers, Bakers, Writers, Poets. Artists, all of Us. Creatives, Original, One. Of a Kind, being Kind, thru Friends and Grandsons, Daughters and Dogs, Otters and Life. The Ties that Bind, the Chords that Sing (rory paul '21)
It's challenging, it affects all of us, but there are creative ways to not let it get the best of us. Give the best of yourself to others, and to your own creative process. Be a creator! You won't just feel better, you'll feel Greater! The Winter Chickens and Friends share about making things, like songs and pies, connections and ties, what speaks to our Souls and brightens our lives. The Chickens brightened their own life, made a new website: https://thewinterchickens.com
You're in the creative coop with Marta
and Rory Paul. The winter chickens.
Join us every other week, we'll tighten up our seat belts. And together, we'll let our creativity fly.
Rory Paul 0:22
Welcome to our podcast about creativity, and loving it.
Today's episode is about COVID and creativity part two.
Rory Paul 0:38
Whether you know it or not, your creativity is following you,
just waiting for you to listen.
Rory Paul 0:53
It's challenging, and affects all of us and our creativity.
And today, we're going to hear from more of you about how you and your Muse are doing. The way this idea for these podcasts got started was kind of unusual, I fail at school. I walk everyday down this hall. And I know that in the middle of this doorway, there is this doorstop. And I know to avoid it. But one day I came around a corner and I took a flying leap and wound up at an urgent care center. And while I'm waiting, it's a beautiful place nice music and infomercials playing and they do this infomercial about COVID. And explaining the importance of how we can cope and get through this. And one of the things they suggested was self care, exercise diet, staying connected to others, trying something new and pursuing something creative. That's kind of how all this got birthed. I was sitting in his doctor's office and didn't realize I had to go there like three times and didn't realize that everybody in there was waiting to be tested for COVID. But I am thankful for that infomercial and what it's helped birth.
Rory Paul 2:29
Well I am too. But sometimes you're surprised at what is born.
It's different crisis, right?
Rory Paul 2:38
We keep getting surprised. And at first, it seems like the surprises are not, you know, we tend to label things good and bad. Well, it is what it is. And a lot of the labeling just goes on in our head. And the circumstances don't label themselves. But I think it's good to be honest about those difficult circumstances. And that's what we did in our last episode. This week, we're going to take a little different tack, Oh, and don't let me forget to thank our listeners for the great quotes and even music clips that they sent in, it was precious. And we're gonna do a lot more of that. And we have some more of those today, which are on a little more, let's call it positive way that people have dealt with creativity in COVID.
I think one of the things that was hard for the people we talked with a couple of weeks ago was the fact that their income depended on their creativity. So they were pretty devastated through all this. But you're right, this will be a little more positive.
Rory Paul 3:47
Like, think of that song, to everything turn, turn. So there is a time for the devastation, I guess it's part of human nature. And there's a time for working through those periods of devastation. And that's what we're gonna focus a bit more on today. So who you got on board first there, Marta.
Well, we've got several quotes here to refer to. The first one was from Frank in Pennsylvania, he said, I find that being creative hasn't changed all that much. It still requires discipline for anything creative to be expressed, practiced and improved upon. I do however, find there is more time to work on those disciplines and that creativity does seem to increase. And he goes on to explain later that, you know, basically the shutdown has allowed for more quote unquote, downtime. But still, he's saying there needs to be discipline on his part to bring it forth.
Rory Paul 4:46
discipline. Yeah, that's a concept that I've had to be creative with. But right, there's a lot of double edged swords going on at this time. We have more time. But a lot of people have less money. Right? And so how do you juggle all that?
Rory Paul 5:06
Well, that's, we're just without judging it. We're just given people's examples. Yeah, we can learn from each other. And maybe the way you juggle might work for someone else, and they can share your juggle and their juggle, and everybody juggles together.
Yeah, another listener. David from South Carolina, he said that he feels like he's receiving a lot of ideas and creativity. But then again, he's still trying to juggle his family, his children and balance, all that together with again, discipline,
Rory Paul 5:43
discipline keeps coming up. Is somebody trying to tell me something?
This is one thing, that's not my favorite thing either. I think as artists that might be, it's one of our maybe not a weakness, but definitely something to steward.
Rory Paul 6:00
Absolutely. Looks like you've got some more quotes.
I do. These are from people that have experienced more creativity during this time. And one of them is Carole Perkins. I know Carole, she's written some reviews for songs of water and my CD, I really cherish her thoughts and her positivity. And this is what she had to say, "I feel like I've been more creative during the pandemic, the quiet inspires me. I finished writing a memoir based on Psalm 139, and also a manuscript about divorce. In addition to writing, I've gotten creative with food, and I love this part. She says I make chicken pot pies with pieces of art with cutout designs on top so there's a little glitter chicken." Oh, yeah, right. I love that.
Rory Paul 7:21
We're gonna talk further to her about jugglin coops and pies together. Don't drop the pie.
Don't drop the pie. She says, "I recently made a batch with two angels dancing under snowflakes. When I was getting decorations out for my Christmas tree and Mar two eggshell ornaments that my late grandmother made. I'm now inspired to make these kind of ornaments. I always knew I needed a lot of downtime. And I've discovered through a Facebook page named empaths, introverts and old souls so much more about myself. I have names to feelings I've always had. And it's a real awakening to know there are so many others like me in the universe. I live by myself, which is very different from raising my three daughters and two step sons. I miss them so much. But I'm comfortable in the stillness."
Rory Paul 8:15
Well, that was beautiful.
She's great, thanks.
Rory Paul 8:17
Thank you, Carole.
Yeah. And you know, that's the other thing I've been noticing about people is a lot of self reflection, self, excuse me self reflection. And that can be very healthy. During COVID can also be can be careful with it.
Rory Paul 8:35
I think self reflection's healthy at any time.
You gotta not be hard on yourself. I guess I was thinking.
Rory Paul 8:43
How about some more reflective things there.
This one comes from my friend John Kleagle. He is now in Chicago. He's a former bandmate and one of the most creative people I have ever, ever known. He is creative with hair design. He's a fabulous cook. When I look at what he's cooking on Instagram, I'm ready to go get on the plane even though I would never get on a plane during COVID. But he's a fabulous cook. He's and he's brilliant in the sense that he is designed a hydroponic garden. So he has vegetables all summer long during COVID and actually winter. And this is what he had to say. "Honestly, I think I'm reverting to childhood when I grew up homeschooled without a TV or internet until I was 14. So quarantine life is how I learned all this stuff in the first place. It's in the stillness, I find space to be alive." And then I asked him if he would submit something and he said he is still in the creative process right now. He is not polishing. He is just open to whatever comes his way. And I kind of respected that. That, you know, he's really more into the process of the product. So john did send us an excerpt of what he's been working Musically, after all, I'm very glad he did that.
John Kleagle- original song
Rory Paul 10:48
Process, he was just enjoying the process. And I had just had a conversation with my cousin DeeDee. And she mentioned same thing that it was kind of funny because she and her husband are both retired, the kids are gone. And she said, My, she might even use the term, both her and her husband have been cooped up together, you know, through this whole thing. Thank you, DeeDee for that little plug for the chicken coop. And she said, "You know, it's nice to get away from each other at times. And she said, that's what's great, I can go up and do my, my painting my artwork up in my little studio and, and we, you know, we get away, we have a little space from each other during that time. So that in and of itself was great. But she made the point that the product also can be important of its own accord, where the product, be it a an idea for a song, or the words to a poem, or the image of a painting. And those products can be shared and create a chain reaction that grows." The picture of the words Angel Angel, with these beautiful wings around them, maybe by my cousin DeeDee have inspired me over these years, and I have that framed picture in my studio and look at it every day.
Rory Paul, original song, "Do You Believe in Angels"
"Do you believe in Angels, Baby, I'm your man......".
Rory Paul 13:23
It made me think, you too, when we talked about this, of our friend John Mark Hampton, who is a creator in his own right, he creates guitars.
Yes. And we said if if you're if craftsmanship is not a form of creativity, then we're sunk.
Rory Paul 13:45
But anyway, using the S word, but it wasn't. So anyway, we get the point. And he makes guitars he makes lap Steel Guitars. He's made I think some mandolins he makes electric guitars. He makes both acoustic and electric guitars. And he made a friend of ours, a custom guitar. And that's where the sequay about creativity, inspiring more creativity and others.
Remember the infomercial that said staying connected. You know, that's one of the things we're having a fight with is isolation. And if we can keep pressing towards one another, all kinds of amazing things can happen. I've known john mark for 35 years. He has done cabinetry and even put a roof on our house. He's done beautiful architecture work. And so this is what he had to say. "This year of 2020 has been very interesting for us at Moriah Guitars. While many businesses have suffered around us, we have seen a lot of new interest in what we are doing. Many new clients have been finding us. Perhaps there are more people needing service because of the pandemic. More people are working at home. Which could direct musicians towards instruments service in a different way the pandemic has caused me to find a new focus and the initial lockdown, there was a lot of quiet time. It seems now that many things have changed in our world, a subtle fear has entered our culture. But for me, it has caused a more fervent trust in God. This has also helped me to be more connected to my Creator."
Rory Paul 15:24
What better way to connect to the Creator than through the Creator's creations, other people and the great gift of creativity that we were given. And john mark, created this beautiful guitar. For another friend of mine, who is the owner of the property, this beautiful five acres I'm living on in central North Carolina, Chris Cory. Chris is an absolute lover of music and musical beauty. And he came up with the specs for a guitar that he's dreamed of for all his life. And he took those specs to john mark, and I forget it was at least six months was probably closer to a year. But john Mark created this. This, it's hard to describe. It's like, you know, it's made of wood. And it's like it's still alive, you expect to see it at times with little buds sprouting out of it. It sounds and looks so alive. And Chris, of course loved it. And Chris also has a new grandson that he loves. So Chris combined his love of his new grandson with the love of his new guitar, and started writing his grandson a song. Sweet. And that is what my cousin was talking about the the start of a chain of creativity that just keeps going from, from each of us to the other with the connection of creation and the things that we love. And so I asked Chris, to talk about that a little bit. And he did. And here's what he had to say. And I'm gonna paraphrase it because I asked him when we were outside around the fire in the evening. And it was pretty cold, to try and write all this down.
I was pretty impressed. Yeah, I was just trying to stay warm.
Rory Paul 17:44
So he said, "Well, it's really not a mental thing. This creative thing is fresh from God. And so is my grandson, he's a piece of me.
You can't really control the urge to do something like writing a song or creating something for someone or something you love. I wanted to express how I felt. How could you have any feelings but awe about it. And especially as I was aging, I wanted to say something to give my grandson something, and all the rest of my family. And what better way to do that than through a song." So Chris started recording his song in my little studio. And Marta and I put some parts down to the song that he wrote Chris is playing guitar, the
one that John Mark made.
Rory Paul 18:45
The on that John Mark made. So john Mark's gift of creativity is is branching out through lots of other people.
The fact that john Mark knows all of us from different ways is miraculous in itself. Right, when you think about it,
Rory Paul 19:02
Yeah. So Chris was hoping to get this song completed for his family for Christmas. He feels like it's not ready yet. Although I think it's the as Marta said "precious". And he's on guitar singing the song. Marta and I are backing him up. I'm on Banjo and also playing bass, but not at the same time. That's a recording trick that we can talk more about later. And then Marta of course is having a good time on the fiddle. And actually she's playing fiddle on this song because it's a fiddle type song.
Chris Corry- Original song
"He squeals with delight as he digs around my pockets for a prize. He pulls out a pencil, shows it to the world. I say careful boy don't poke it in your eye. What are we but temporary fruit From our family tree"
That song that Chris wrote for his grandson is so precious it is exactly fits the question that I posted on Facebook for our listeners, and that was, how have you used your creative gifts to benefit others. And this was some of the response we got. Janet wrote, "I made a Memorial Garden for my neighbor after her mother died. Her mother was in her late 90s and lived out of state. My neighbor friend brought home some garden statues from her mom's home. But she herself did not have a garden. I split my perennials to plant and my granddaughter and I painted smooth rocks to look like ladybugs." I thought that was really sweet. And she just she saw a friend and need and use your creativity and helped her work through her grief to other teachers that are now retired, responded, once a music teacher that's now retired and she wrote
Rory Paul 21:36
It keeps coming up there, Marta
Can you, I"m really struggling.....
Rory Paul 21:42
I'm not struggling at all, retire Marta!
I can't quite yet, but I'm thinking a lot about it. Sarah responded, she's baking all kinds of new recipes and cookies and muffins and sharing it with her neighbors and they even organized a carol sing and went around the duck pond and sang together. I want to sing around the duck farm with my retired friends.
Rory Paul 22:04
Oh you want to retire to sing around a duck pond?. Actually, I think that sounds just ducky.
I knew you were going to come up with something clever.
Rory Paul 22:13
I don't know. Actually, that was pretty bad. And we'll either edit it out or not.
Lisa, another retired teacher, she
taught art and these are retired teachers just Oh, it seems like a lot.
But I want to be one of them. Right? Okay. So anyways, Lisa is a retired art teacher, but she and her husband did something really cool. This is what she wrote. Tom and I have been practicing a lot of music.
Rory Paul 22:41
I'm sorry, I'm still picturing you walking around the duck pond. Are you gonna be the lead duck?
I don't care.
Rory Paul 22:49
As long as you're a retired duck.
I'm still busy being a chicken right now.
I'll be duck later. Anyway,
Rory Paul 22:56
That's in the sequel. Chickens turn into ducks.
Oh, my goodness.
Tom and I have been practicing a lot of music. My friend Lisa wrote much of what most of which been old standards that my folks liked. So I've been arranging them for uke and voice and we have been doing these little takes of all of me to New York all these classic songs and they've been doing performances over FaceTime to their parents who are in assisted living.
Rory Paul 23:25
That's beautiful. Beautiful.
And the last two quotes I have for I want to tell one more school story is two grandfathers. Okay. Joey, who is partially retired now was a minister, I guess he might still be because he uses his pastoral care to help people that he sees questioning and searching on Facebook. He's been very kind about that. He also says that he's enjoying woodworking, and he's making these tensegrity tables
Rory Paul 23:54
Tensegrity I think
That's what we came to. consensus on. Yeah. And he's making his and he actually made one for his daughter. And that's just an example of somebody who's a good grandfather or a good father. And, Doug is a blues enthusiast here in town. And he's been doing renovations for his daughter's house. He says, "lots of creativity and problem solving involved. Plus some social distance from the majority of people since I'm working on the house. He says I'm truly and deeply Miss going out, listening to live music and socializing. But that's the world we live in, at least for a few more months."
Rory Paul 24:33
I hope he's right, a few more months.
That's what I'm hoping. But I want to tell the story of his teacher because what happened was I was measuring I was measuring creativity in a way like how are you being more or less. Sometimes it's just one idea that can really affect a person's life. You may feel doll and dead creatively, but you have this one idea and it's a profound life changing effect on people That is the story of, I'm just going to name or miss Stewart, in the classroom I've been sent in now to help volunteer and I'm with this teacher probably almost every day. And we've just finished testing and unfortunately, so many children to find themselves by their test scores. I don't know if that's why she came up with this idea. But she actually made a recording of herself a video recording of herself and presented it to the class, it was part of social emotional learning. And she took the time to acknowledge every single child in the classroom and affirm them, maybe two or three sentences for each child, you could have heard a pin drop, it was so powerful. And then she even said something kind to me. And the class was a hush and eyes were leaking. All because this teacher had this creative idea. I don't know how creative this teacher is in her personal life. But what she did in that class for that day was profound and life changing. Those children may have heard the most positive thing they've ever heard in their whole life. I don't know. But it was just one creative idea. That was very powerful.
Rory Paul 26:17
Well, that's like, that's up there with any of the best songs ever written.
But it really did convict me, you know, how was talking about? Are you more creative or less creative? Sometimes, folks
you might just have one idea that changes a person's life. And that's worth what we're working on going through right now.
Rory Paul 26:39
Beautiful, beautiful story. Thank you. And thank you Miss Stewart, is that right?, wherever you are. And now the story of Ryan Newcomb. I met Ryan a few years ago at a songwriter circle. And we immediately connected by the songs we shared, we felt an artistic connection. Things happen especially to him, he had a he and his wife had another child. And, you know, just life. We reconnected recently. And he sent me a female vocalist who sings on a lot of my songs now, Maddy Calhoun. And he was very glad to be part of this podcast. And let me read part of what he said. "It's been nine years since I've released any new original material. So I'm long overdue. Making a record is hard, and one of the most enjoyable parts is the community of musicians and artists to collaborate to make it happen. But the challenge of making one in the middle of a global pandemic, that prevents that, in certain ways, makes it very challenging." He goes on to explain how he's creatively worked around some of this. But the thing that touched me the most was how he realized these musicians are having a specially tough time. And he let the time agenda go of getting his project done. These musicians need to take whatever they can to keep going. And he's fine with that. In other words, it will get done when it's meant to get done. And respecting other people's needs in the process, which is absolutely beautiful, along with a song this wrote for his grandfather, who had just passed.
Ryan Newcomb-original song
Rory Paul 29:40
Thank you, Ryan. That is a beautiful song. We want to remind you that you can find out about all these guests artists at our new web page. thewinterchickens.com All right, we're gonna make this a wrap, we're laughing Because we've been trying to wrap this up several attempts here, and it's been interesting. So interesting that I forgot. Forgot what we're gonna say. And then I forgot it again. Oh, the threshold, right? And we've been talking about threshold. No, bring enough. Guess what? It's okay. To start, oh, it's gonna all come together here, Mark, trust me. Whether you know it or not, we've all been living on the threshold, haven't we? And what does threshold mean? It's just a word. You don't hear very much. Marta and I asked each other that question. When we had an encounter with a threshold and not the ones she tripped over?
Right? That was not good.
Rory Paul 30:50
Christmas Day Eve. I was feeling kind of funky. Anybody else out there? Not a lot of family getting together. And I did what I often do, I grabbed a guitar to try and at least get those feelings out, and out came these chords, which is the way it usually happens. And I was going to record them to remember them. I forgot. Marta comes over the day after Christmas for us to work on the podcast. And she says,
Well, I want to record something instrumental.
Rory Paul 31:30
Right! Because Marta is instrumentalist. So Surprise, surprise, she loves instrumentals. And I said, Well, I just wrote this song last night, you might like it, but I'm not sure I can remember it.
So much for our creative process, right?
Rory Paul 31:51
So I sat down, and it just came back to me. I don't know how the Marta liked it. So we just do as we often do, I just turned on the hit the record button on the recording equipment. She heard the chords one time and off we went. Especially off she went with three different violin tracks. On this on the chord base on the guitar, interestingly, a guitar that john mark, who made Chris's guitar had fixed for me that I thought was unrepairable. It sounded beautiful. And when I played the chords for Marta, initially, I looked at her and said, What's the feeling you get about that song?
Yeah, we did a dry run before we recorded I played with you. And then he looked up at me. And you said, What do you think this is about? And the word that just instantly popped in my mind was Threshold. And I didn't even really fully understand the significance of that.
Rory Paul 32:55
But the moment she said threshold, I just went, that's it. That's the feeling. And I said to Marta, I think, you know, sometimes we think of a threshold, something you trip over, like right in school, or walk, right, or you're standing on a threshold, and it's kind of scary. And it can be scary. But I had a feeling that it had good and hopeful. sense to it. And Marta looked up the definition.
And this is what it said, What are the definitions, but the first one I found the thresholds signifies the passage from one level to another, usually from a lower earthly plane to a higher spiritual one. The entrance to a new world, the boundary at which the natural meets the supernatural.
Marta/RoryPaul- original song
Rory Paul 34:19
So I don't know how you you folks feel when you listen to that song. But I, not because Martin I wrote it. There's something in it far outside Marta and myself. It's both it inspires me and it comforts me at the same time.
Yeah, we've talked about a lot of things today, stillness and discipline and self reflection and giving to others and the power of one single idea. I feel like we're all as creatives on a threshold right now. A season of something new.
Rory Paul 34:57
That is a beautiful note to end on. Here's some more ending notes. Thank you listeners for your beautiful contributions.
We look forward to more of these podcasts where we're including more people. And what's coming up next
Well, we are going to acknowledge Black History Month in February and then we are going to do an episode about love, love. February the middle of February in honor of Valentine's Day, so we will be asking for our listeners to subscribe not subscribe but Submit.
Rory Paul 35:39
Oh, we ask them to subscribe. We want you to subscribe.
Of course, please subscribe. But we would love your submissions of poetry and songs about love.
Rory Paul 35:49
Well, and Black History Month.
I'm working on that. I got all my connections.
Rory Paul 35:53
You got your connections.
Already started working on that. But yes, love and love of any kind love of a partner or a spouse. A child, God, a friend. Yeah,
Rory Paul 36:05
yeah. Love is everywhere. Somebody, who said that? Yeah. Some English guys, I think also some American guys, I believe it was the Allman Brothers. And speaking of love, I'm loving our new web page. It's awesome. Think it's awesome? I love it. And what do you think the name of it is folks? Who would ever guess, the creative coops webpage is called the winter chickens.com. So we hope you can go there. Because it has a lot of stuff that's related to creativity. Based on the winter chicken's take on it. But it's a place where you can leave your stamp your take on it through the blog, through comments. Just have at it leave suggestions leave reviews, especially good reviews, good ones, right?
We can edit the bad ones out!
Rory Paul 37:10
Right, we have the power.
We have the power.
Rory Paul 37:13
And so what else we need to tell folks?
Just a reminder to you know, check our Facebook page too because a lot of times we're posting questions for upcoming web..... I'm sorry, I've got the website on my mind. Because a lot of times on our Facebook page. We're posting questions for upcoming episodes.
Rory Paul 37:31
Speaking of which, working title for our next episode is Black History Month Matters. We hope we see you and hear you then. Thank you for listening and supporting us by supporting the subscribe button.
And we'll see you in a couple of weeks. Stay tuned for the latest Muse.
Marta/Rory Paul- original song
Rory Paul 38:06
All music heard on this podcast is the original copyrighted material of Maker's Wine and their guests. Visit us at theWinterchickens.com. Thank you.
Transcribed by https://otter.ai