By Cade Martin
As a kid, I spent many a dinner at a table surrounded by friends of my parents, an eclectic cast of characters — sculptors, writers, painters, creatives. That thread of creative community has remained in our offices, our teams, and our collaborations. But that thread feels thinner in this moment.
So I asked, with the purpose of sharing, and of supporting and caring for this creative community in its current, uncertain reality. I asked what people are doing, how they are feeling, how they are sparking creativity. It feels important to share what we do, when we can’t do all our doing.
Reaching out first to some of the talented people I’ve had the good fortune to profile though the Capitol Communicator portrait series. It’s my version of a virtual dinner table of sorts. Grab a chair and listen in to my conversation with Stacy Elsbury Thomas, Founder and CEO of Good Run Research & Recreation.
Stacy, how have you been handling your creative energy during these challenging times?
For me, my garden has been both my creative outlet and my greatest source of creative energy. (It’s also become my deepest money pit, but that’s another story) Among the silver linings of this mess we’re in the gift of time. These days I make it out to the garden (which has now erupted to take over much of my backyard….. oops) multiple times a day, and I often find myself just standing and staring at the seedlings. After I’ve watered and weeded and moved things around a bit, there’s little left to do, so my approach before the pandemic was to get in and get out– get the job done. But now, I’ve nowhere to be, and so I have the luxury of lingering. Turns out, there’s huge medicine and energy in the garden if you stop to stare at nothing at all happening…and linger. It makes no sense, but it’s been a huge inspiration and motivator creatively.
Outside of the garden, my team’s been focused on staying connected to one another, and continuing the Recreation that makes us GOOD. We’ve been virtual bread baking (which takes all day, in stages, so we get to hang, virtually, while learning something new. Pro tip: beating the hell out of a lump of dough is a well-kept stress fighting secret and playing virtual games as a team. It’s striking how new tools and tricks can feel so normal, in this anything-but normal time.
Finally, the silver lining that comes with homeschooling against our will is that we’re forced to revert to the days when we were all artists, and also believed we were, without qualification. I’ve been painting, sculpting, hot gluing, sewing, and origami folding every day, and there’s a 1/4 inch of glitter on my floors and glue on my fingertips to prove it.
I think we’re all driven to build, create and communicate. And when we’re suddenly not able, our nature forces us to find ways to keep that up. The longer it goes, the more bold and creative we become without approaches and outlets. So, while I sincerely hope we’re nearing the end of this, the creative push yields treasures we get to keep.