Suisun Valley Review 2015 Release Reading Emcee Opening Monologue

A Sermon on the Importance of Creating Things

Hello.

Art. Visual art. The written word.

Creativity.

Someone might hear these words all their life and not once find that they conjure up: images of Cordelia, with its thing for pleasant breezes; or West Texas street in Fairfield, begging to be eaten up and down and across its mom-and-pop food joints; or the hills and adjacent lagoon in Vacaville, all locked up under that unforgiving heat; or the way the sea itself finds an almost-domestication against the waterfronts of Suisun and Vallejo.

Most people hear the word creativity and they probably think of Berkeley, Davis, San Francisco, Saramento, Portland, or some other major city and art hub. And who could blame them? Those places are well-known for a reason.

But, judging by this room today, I’d say we’re giving people reason to think a little closer.

If you’re here, that means one of a few things: you create things, you want to create things, or your English teacher made attendance mandatory.

Whatever the reason, we hope you enjoy the events of the next hour or so, as we celebrate the written word and visual art today, with the release of this (book).

Thirty-two issues. SVR is old—officially older than three-quarters of its editors.

And that is a beautiful problem to have, isn’t it?

See, SVR is not a required class. It’s optional. Sure, it counts towards an English degree, should you want it to, but it’s not English 1 or anything.

The continuing existence of SVR today—as well as Solano’s English program, its creative writing program, its visual arts programs, theater, music, and Club Floetry—is fervent testimony that creativity is far from dead at Solano.

And that’s a good thing.

Because the world has always been a terrifying place. Wars, famine, natural disasters, slavery, and especially hatred have always had their unwelcome places at humanity’s table:

and for some reason, they still do.

The mixed blessing that is the incorporation of the internet into every aspect of our reality has only lengthened the distance that has always existed between humans.

But the way this world is might be the single most important reason that everyone must continue to create.

For it is through creation that we as humans continually discover not only who we are, but who others are, and maybe even glean a little insight as to what the hell is up with this crazy world we live in.

There is comfort in creation. Sure, it’s a masochistic kind of comfort, but it still counts. Putting the right words in the right order, or the feeling of friction you get when you slide a burnt piece of wood across a blank eighteen by twenty-four page—things like that are magic.

And that makes you a wizard.

But seriously, the urge to create is a beautiful burden. Don’t resist it.

And it doesn’t matter what your job title is. You are not defined by your job.

You are defined by who you really are and what you make.

You could align yourself with an ancient legacy of warmongers, pain-for-profit capitalists, and politicians.

Or, you could choose to create, and align yourself with the legacy of Shakespeare, Da Vinci, Picasso, The Brontes, Wolf, Chekhov, Chandler, Cheever, Carver. Duvall. Schmitz.

It is your responsibility now to put a smile on the face of the cynical archaeologist who will one day unearth your remains. You can restore their faith in humanity.

Thank you.

-Bearshaman