mud pies and pure design

“What I Want to Say”  by Pat Schneider

Well, I was playing, see,
in the shadow of the tabernacle.
I was decorating mud pies
with little brown balls
I found scattered on the ground
like nuts, or berries.
Until some big boy came walking by
and laughed. Hey,
don’t you know you’re puttin’ goat doo
on your mud pies? I bet
you’re gonna eat ’em, too!

That day I made a major error
in my creative life.

What I want to say is this:
I liked those little balls
on my mud pies. I was a sculptor,
an artist, an architect. I was
making pure design in space and time.
But I quit
because a critic came along
and called it shit.

—from Another River, by Pat Schneider

5 thoughts on “mud pies and pure design

  1. Wonderful, wonderful.

    Just today I met with mature women who are not discovering their child creativity, which was lost for the years of childbearing, working, helping parents. I think I’ll send them your page as encouragement.

    1. It’s a lovely, piece, isn’t it? So glad you like it too, Mary. As for that ‘child creativity’, I agree it’s worth every bit of effort to find that freedom of spirit again. Or as near as. That’s where our true brilliance lives.

      Here’s to goat poo!

    1. Steve, you’re right of course. Horribly right. However, I take heart by reminding myself it’s merely a learned thing, this inner critic, something acquired (like a virus?) by ‘growing up’ and fitting in and toeing the line and all that stuff that ‘measures’ us and kills the ‘child’. For our own good of course. So we can be sensible adult types and stop jumping about and laughing so much and for-heavens-sake-colour-inside-the-lines…!

      In my opinion the one truly great thing about growing up and growing older is that eventually you realize so much of what you learned was bollocks.


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