Well, my sweet Cashy Boy, my big smooshy marshmallow, turned seven today. He had two friends over for a party yesterday and today we just did church and played games and everyone did their part to try and make him feel special.
Because he is. Special. I love you, Cash.
He is into the video game Plants vs. Zombies. (We all play it, actually. Even Juliet walks around the house saying "Zombies!") It is a game where you try to prevent zombies from entering your house to eat your brains. You do this by planting plants that kill them by shooting peas or melons or corn at them or chili peppers that blow them up or squash that you guessed it, squash them. So the older kids and I decided we'd try to make him a plants vs. zombies cake.
We thought of it kind of last minute so we didn't have much time but Cash loved it and that's the most important thing. I put on seven zombies and put his candles next to them so maybe they would burn up. One of them did! It was fun.
And now for a little artsy soap box tangent...
As I was trying to finish up the cake, I needed one more zombie to make seven. I went online to look for coloring pages to use and made the mistake of visiting a website, maybe you've heard of it, called Pinterest. I am not a member of this site, but sometimes get there through a Google search.
I discovered a wealth of Plants vs. Zombies cakes and party ideas. Since Cash's friends were arriving in an hour, these ideas were not going to happen. This made me feel dejected and down. I felt like the cake that Jackson and Libby and I worked on was sub-par. I went from feeling like I had a good idea to make a P v Z cake to feeling like a loser for not doing a better job.
Much of this feeling is not fault of the internet, but my own perfectionism seeping in. Still, I don't want to visit a website that makes me feel that way. I made something for my son. Because I love him. So what if it wasn't expensive or perfect. He liked it.
I love creativity. I love ideas. I love being influenced by other art and creativity. I think it's great that you can be motivated to do cool stuff and especially work with your hands.
But there is something about the availability of it all that makes me feel unsettled. I think that sometimes we get too much information too quickly and have no appreciation for the fact that we can get it so easily. It is overload. And if you don't overload yourself, you're behind somehow.
I think about Van Gogh. And how his art changed when he went to Paris and was able to see with his own eyes, the work of the impressionists. He didn't look them up, he journeyed to a different country. He saw new paintings and artists one at a time. Over a period of months, years.
I think about art being a process. And how if you read about 25 other people's trial and error and pick the best way, you miss out on the process. And end up robbing yourself of making your brain work in that specific way.
Don't let Pinterest, I mean, zombies, I mean, the internet, eat your brains. Slow down and come up with your own ideas sometimes.