Touched with fire

Our office manager is playing the lead role in a local production by the Sterling Playmakers' of "Thoroughy Modern Millie," a Tony-award winning musical comedy that was on Broadway in the early 2000s. I went to see it on Sunday with a client and saw several others there, a testament to our office manager's loyal following, which I attribute to her ability to relate to our unique population of clients. You can take that wherever you want. I see no need to complete the thought and connect the dots, but, in the best ways, they broke the mold when they made her. The cast and crew of the play did a wonderful job and this morning I was talking to our office manager, who did an exceptional job playing Millie, about the behind-the-scenes romances, conflict and otherwise general insanity related to the cast and crew. As I told her, "there is a reason they call it drama." Anyway, the entire conversation made me think of the link between mental illness and creativity, which was only reinforced by two recent clients (one dramatic, intelligent and analytical, and the other analytical, subtle and convincingly self-deceptive) who creatively tried to avoid serious discussion, a tool that is effectively in manipulating me away from the topic at hand, at least for 45 minutes of the 50-minute session, when I decided to bring the point that I have not been lead astray home by throwing them back in the pond that we had originally started in. The aside of this post is that everything about today had me thinking about the link between mental illness and creativity, and the debates about whether allowing mental illness to flourish is a requirement and a sacrifice that the most brilliantly creative must have to make. It's a debate that cannot truly be answered here, but I do think that in so many ways, being outside the box assists artists of all stripes. A good resource on the topic is Kay Redfield Jamison's Touched With Fire, an evidence-based look at manic depression and creativity.

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