Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Take Five With Cassie Fox

Mini Bio: 
Cassie Fox generally keeps busy by kicking butt and fighting for the issues that are important to her. When not attending to her superhero duties, she spends her time in Tennessee with her amazing husband and two adorable mini-humans.

Creative Specialities: 
Poetry, Prose, Photography

The Best Way To Describe Her Is: 
Passionate - about her family, about her friends, about the issues that matter to her.

Personal Pages: 

1. What is one thing you've learned as an artist that you wish you'd known when you first started out? 
For it to really, truly count, your art has to be your voice --it's not enough for it to come from your hands, or your mouth, or your body. Every pen stroke and brush stroke and adverb and pirouette have to be wholly and authentically a gift from your soul to yourself and the world around you. Be appreciative of what other artists have to say, but learn to say your own truths, and let others appreciate you. 

2. What is the greatest challenge you have faced as a creative person? 
I believe creative people are, by nature, extremely open – open hearts, open minds, open arms. We embrace all that we see, all we can sense and touch and dream – the beautiful and the horrible, the sweet-smelling and the decayed – and sometimes, we watch it crumble in our hands, everything reduced to a tiny pile of ashes or a burning pile of rubble, smoking at our feet. Sometimes, it seems like all the great triumphs and all the great ills of the world we live in sneak in under my skin, and when the input becomes greater than the output, I begin to feel claustrophobic inside myself. Words get bottled up in my bones, and extracting them can be a long, difficult process. 

3. If money were no object, what would you make? 
I would make everything. I would write the sun up into the sky and I would dance with dawn. I would draw lazy lunchtime daisies and photograph the faces of the fields around my house. I would sing out across a hundred sunsets and I would tell stories to the moon. But mostly, I would write – poems, prose, a single word, ten thousand words. 

4. What moment/place/time/setting lets you function to your fullest creative potential? 
I am both blessed and cursed with an imperfect but persistent muse. It doesn't so much matter where I am or what time I am there as where she is at any given moment. I think of her as kind of an older sister, one who comes home from college every once in a while, and who is really present and in the moment when she's there, staying up talking with you until three in the morning about all the things you're too embarrassed to mention to your friends, giving you your first wine cooler, lighting up a joint for you and not laughing when you cough, telling you in a hushed whisper to never shave down there because it's insanely itchy growing back and totally not worth it; but she dates these skeezy guys who leave bruises and she never eats enough and she has scars you don't even want to ask about, and she's just really wise and really funny and really amazing, but also really fucking broken. Which is all a very long way of saying that I write whenever the hell she shows up. 

5. How do you deal with the inevitable uncertainty that accompanies a creative life? 
I accept that being creative is not just something I do, it's something I am. When I was eight, we had a small pool in our backyard, and I spent most of the summer sinking to the bottom, learning how to hold my breath for longer and longer periods of time. By August, I'd worked my way up to two minutes and thirty-eight seconds, and the last thirty were the worst; sitting under four feet of water, pressing on top of me like a living thing, my eyes wide open and staring at my brother's brown legs, my lungs like liquid fire, counting, counting, imagining what it would be like to simply open my mouth and breathe, would it hurt, would anyone notice, wouldn't it be the best way to go, to inhale and then look right at the sun, so that a beautiful muted light was the last thing you saw before you closed your eyes? Not creating feels like that – like I'm eight again at the bottom of the pool, my chest expanding as big as the earth, ready to burst. And in the same way I always made it back to the surface in time, lungs sucking in sweet air that smelled like blue hydrangeas and tasted like chlorine and clover, I create, sentences and paragraphs and photographs and it feels just exactly like breathing.

For more from Cassie, be sure to check out her Tumblr.

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