What is Creativity?
January 18, 2012 § 8 Comments
Rhythm and rhyme, poetry, painting and piano. These things I got from my mother. Order, practicality, patience, deliberation and self-reliance ~ these came from my father. Sometimes the blending has an excellent, really pleasing effect. Other times it’s conflicted, my free spirit feeling trapped inside its Virgo shell.
But however these traits play out on any given day, (perhaps depending on the star’s alignment), I can’t imagine life without a pen for words, a pencil or brush for pictures, without the ability to make music, or dance my own dance. Maybe it’s DNA, maybe it’s God-given. All I know is that it’s all just there. Demanding my attention, every day, at all hours.
So at some point in life, I accept and embrace the call, resign to the destiny that DNA or God (or both) bestowed. I know it’s not a hobby, a fancy of youth, a moment in the sun. This thing called creativity throbs with every pulse. I choose to honor it, even though I’m not so sure the choice is mine, and even though it would be so much tidier to work at something with obvious beginnings and ends. But such, it seems, is not my fate.
Of course, I have no corner on this thing called creativity. There are many of you out there, and you know exactly what I’m talking about!
There are, however, many of you out there who also live and breathe creativity and (I think) don’t know it. You think it requires the painting of a picture, the writing of a story, the composing of a song, the designing of a home or the sculpting of stone into an angel. I don’t believe that it does.
What about the teacher who gets through to an otherwise struggling student, by using an original approach? What about the doctor who discovers a unique treatment? What about the accountant who produces an efficient software program? What about the farmer who figures how to grow a tastier tomato or develops a new fertilizer? What about the pilot who dreams of a better aircraft? What about the engineer, like my father, who measured things with facts and figures, and invented industry-changing processes?
I think that “this thing called creativity” runs through all our veins ~ it just manifests in very different ways. (Thank goodness for that!) And whether or not it’s nurtured ~ and whether or not, like a muscle, it is used and strengthened or becomes limp from neglect ~ simply makes it seem more real or not.