One of my children, as a young teenager, had a close friend whose mother died after a long illness. The grieving girl began drinking alcohol and getting into some trouble, which upset my daughter. She told me that she asked her friend why she was drinking, and her reply was something along these lines: "It makes it so I don't think any more."
This is a weirdly sad introduction to a celebratory post, but it feels relevant. I had an exultant second half of yesterday which felt akin to intoxication - but without any mind altering chemicals. I got so entirely lost in a creative project that I lost all track of time, stopped thinking about anything else for about 6 hours and suddenly it was 11:30 at night.
Creative expression can be like a drug, or like alcohol, or like meditation perhaps, if we can make time to find our passion on the inside. It is an escape and an adventure of discovery when something so absorbs your consciousness that all other minutiae disappear from the nagging sidelines of your brain.
For me it was song writing, and it has happened before. I almost hesitate to begin sometimes, knowing that once I do it can be hard to stop, so in the aftermath I might be kind of exhausted. A creative hangover. But now I have a finished SATB arrangement of an acapella gospel piece that I wrote. A couple of years ago I woke up with one of the main themes in my head - being sung by a full gospel choir in purple robes! The first arrangement didn't fly with an all male group, so I had to try again.
I think it is totally awesome, and I hope the high school choral teacher will take it and teach it.
Really, this phenomenon could be so many things - writing, carpentry, cooking, sewing. I've seen my daughter get lost in creating a video, and another in scrapbooking. My mother could be delighted for hours by creating flower arrangements or pine cone wreaths.
I think all of us, from time to time, need a break, an escape from thinking and from consciousness of the passage of time. Sometimes being present is incredibly difficult, wearying, painful. Creation is a therapeutic activity that everyone should seek to engage in more often. Even if it creates a bit of hangover, it's a lot better for you than the chemical alternatives.