Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Reflections on Creativity

I believe author, Julia Cameron, said, “Life is a creative endeavor. It is active, not passive.”

Do you remember being creative as a child? By nature, I think, children are all highly creative creatures, and it takes only climbing into adulthood for that creativity to take a back seat to, oh, let’s see, going to school, making a living, raising children, providing food and shelter for ourselves and our families, and so forth.

And suddenly there doesn’t seem to be a creative bone in our bodies. We are stymied. There are just so many hours in a day, and, hey, we have to just relax and rest during some of those hours, watch tv, have a drink, go to a game.

Quickly we forget what it was like to be creative, to make up tunes, to write poems, to play an instrument, to draw a picture. And because we forget what it was like, we know within our very beings that there is not only no time for creativity, we don’t have what it takes, anyway.

As my mother was a musician, I took piano and voice as a child, I played the flute and timpani in the band, sang in various choirs, and I took painting with a woman who wore bright gypsy clothing, possessed wildly flying hair, and had creativity pouring out of her in every direction. I thought she was a bit crazy, but I so loved going to her house to learn to draw - her paintings displayed on all of her walls. And then, one day, pastels were introduced, and I was in heaven.

But Mother wasn’t particularly interested in drawing and painting, the supplies were quite expensive, and so, I stopped going to art class.

I never really thought I could draw, but, man, I loved to do it, and do it I continued on notebooks and book covers, and I doodled all over everything...still do, for that matter.

I did continue one creative outlet throughout my adulthood. I kept on with my writing, my passion for forming pictures with words. That helped a lot! But...

Then, six years ago, I retired from teaching, and I began using the internet more than I had before, and I found, there, women, and a few men, who were challenging each other to be creative, Violette Clark and Danny Gregory, in particular. They were challenging others not just to draw or to paint, but to live creative life styles. And I thought to myself, this sounds exactly like where I want to be right now.

And so I took some online courses, joined a couple of art groups, and formed a couple of others, and slowly, very slowly, I began to see a creative spark to my being that I had not seen since about third grade. Never mind all that music. I could create a piece of art, a collage, a drawing, a painting, a quilt, and I had found other people who also were finding their creative bliss. It was like a whole other world was opening up right before my eyes.

This doesn’t mean you has to be old or young to be creative. You just have to allow yourself to believe that you have creativity - everyone has creativity. And you have to give yourself time to explore where that creativity lies. Creativity, remember, is active!

I know several people, men and women, in our town who are taking music lessons. I know others who have taken up photography. More people are gardening, making quilts, decorating homes, making jewelry, painting, sculpting. Tthese are all creative pass times. Active, not passive. And I encourage you, as I encourage myself. Find your creative life. Now!

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