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PEN&INKee^POSSIBILITIES:Putting the stopper on creative osmosis

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By Kirsten Laskey

It rained this afternoon and the moisture made the night air cool and crisp, but it feels stifling in my apartment.

My home’s airless atmosphere reflects my present mind. I keep looking at the blinking cursor on the computer screen and wonder what should be my next word. Writer’s block feels suffocating. I can’t think of anything to write, my only thought is how long my creative limitations are stretching out at the moment.

How did this happen? I was immersed in culture and artistic innovation Sunday afternoon. My parents and I toured the long lines of booths during the Indian Market at Santa Fe’s Plaza. Tables were covered with turquoise and silver bracelets, earrings and necklaces. The displays appeared as rainbows of colorful stones glinting from black tablecloths.

Oil paintings, pen and ink drawings and water color images were propped up on easels.  Brave warriors and their horses charged across canvases and bison stood along white painted trees.

On a small stage in the center of the Plaza, a group of women modeled dresses decorated with miniscule beads; while off on side streets, performers pounded on drums and danced to the rhythmic beat.

One small child was almost completely hidden by the wooly dreadlocks of a buffalo’s mane, which sat on his head. The dancers wore capes of feathers.  

Even the spectators showed off their creativity. I admired the small, neat knot of satin black hair that belonged to one man while another male had a hairdo similar to Bart Simpson’s. His hair was tightly cropped around the circumference of his head, but on the top of the skull his black hair shot straight up and was bleached blond at the tips.

We traveled to the Palace of the Governors and looked at black-and-white prints that depicted different scenes, which occurred far back in Santa Fe’s history.

A group of women dressed as flappers petted a cowboy’s goat in one photograph while another showed a cowboy swinging his hat in the air as his bucking bronco jumped from the ground.

The culture exploration continued right through lunchtime. My parents and I had lunch in an outdoor restaurant that served French cuisine.

There was a canopy of multi-colored patio umbrellas and a man played folksy French tunes on an accordion while a woman sang the cheerful lyrics.

It was a day filled with artistry, creativity, innovation and culture.

Yet, even though I was surrounded by these artistic elements, none of them rubbed off on me.   I feel bone dry - thirsty for my own creative breakthrough, but nothing I produce is quenching this need.

Despite my creative thirst being unsatisfied, it feels good to celebrate other people’s great works of art, even if I can’t hold up any of my own.