Our most recent Syncreate Meetup took place on November 1st – Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead), a time of year when many traditions honor and celebrate the ancestors. With this seasonal resonance in mind, we felt inspired to consider how creativity might be part of a larger legacy, and how ancestral yearnings may appear consciously or unconsciously in our creative work. We pondered what legacies we may be carrying forward from prior generations, and/or how our creative work might be in reaction to, or protest against, the experiences of our forebears.
We did a creative exercise with the group in which we each wrote a note to ourselves from a particular ancestor, describing the legacy and significance of our creative work. My ancestral inspiration came from my Great Uncle Henry (a renowned adventurer, labor organizer and general rabble-rouser). Though I actually never met him, my father has told me many stories and often compares me to him. The exercise helped me see my own creative work, and particularly my music, in an ancestral context, and made me feel more connected to the creativity of my grandparents’ generation.
And then… Something happened in the night. I dreamed vividly and woke up feeling quite melancholy and introspective. Something compelled me to go into my music studio to work on a couple of my newer songs and dust off some older ones. Arrangements I had been puzzling over for months suddenly came together, and I recorded four of the songs for my new band project. I felt a rekindling of passion and energy for my music.
Something about these ancestral speculations got me fired up about my creative work. How might this be true for you as well? Try writing yourself a letter from an ancestor (known or unknown; real or imagined) about the significance of your creative work, and let us know what you discover!