Two River Man

Day 139 Week 20 Q2 Saturday, May 20, 2023

Hey Creative Outliers, do you ever feel like two rivers are flowing within you? One full of intellect and ideas and the other full of emotions and feelings? As a physicist and musician, I have had these two rivers within me since I was ten when I first got my hands on a piano.

For the record, I think the stereotypical role models of thinking men and feeling woman is nonsensical because I grew up with parents who both felt and thought. This made me very lucky among my friends because traditional role models were still prevalent growing up in the fifties and sixties. It is a new day and a new time, and many men and women have both rivers flowing within them, and hopefully, it is increasing. Still, it is a bit hard for me to tell because I have spent my life in progressive areas like New York, Boston and San Francisco. 

Have you ever lived on a river? My wife and I have been living on one for the last ten years, and I can assure you they keep flowing and changing course when they feel like it and if you try to prevent this as some do, not me, it is a losing proposition. If you have deep feelings and thoughts and try to bottle either of these up, it will not work very well.

Many towns in New England, where I live, were built right on rivers for transportation purposes and because of the power to run mills and other manufacturing operations. I am sure this must have been true worldwide since the industrial revolution. 

Have you ever consciously thought about building your life on your natural internal rivers instead of trying to bottle them up or change their direction? You don’t want to constrain your mind or heart, for if you do, even unconsciously, your life will be less meaningful, productive and satisfying. Unfortunately, it can take a lifetime to discover this, if you discover it at all. And it makes life interesting because of the need to constantly adapt to the flow of the rivers.

Many of us have been encouraged to lock down our feelings and instead work on careers maximizing revenue and security. If you come from depression-era parents, this is understandable. And yes, getting good paying jobs is not necessarily easy, but I want to caution you not to try to stop either of your rivers, for if and when they overflow the banks, things will get messy, and you might like the mess more than the orderly life you have constructed.

Creative outliers generally have these two rivers flowing a little more swiftly than those who are more mainstream. This can be a blessing and a curse but do not deny either and keep them flowing.