Friday, October 26, 2012

31: Creativity...............

I have been thinking about creativity. Warning: philosophical post ahead......................

You know, without a creative spirit, we cannot function in any sphere. Everything we do every day involves creativity.

We rise from a bed, in a room, in a home where the furniture is arranged how we like it to be. The walls are painted the colours we have chosen.

We choose our clothes for the day and accessorise them so we look good, or appropriate for what we are going to be doing. (Believe me, I am not looking good when I crawl into the gym. No make-up, hair on end. Groan. I do, however, look better when I emerge. And I am usually red in the face too. An artistic extra.)

We think about and make meals which are put together with great creativity. Especially when one forgets to defrost anything..

We wash and clean our clothes and home. And ourselves. Bubble bath? A creative choice.

We plant a garden and tend it.

We shop for essentials (and non-essentials)

We work at jobs which, in all spheres, require initiative.

Initiative. Another word for creativity.

We entertain in homes with candles and set tables and cushions arranged on a sofa the way we like them.

We arrange stick flowers in a vase.

We entertain our toddlers.

We encourage our kids.

We suggest paths for our teens, we support our students choices.

We then help to arrange weddings, we embrace and play with our grandkids.

We write letters.

We plan Christmas.

We play sport.

We make snow angels.

We go on diets.

We balance finances. Or not.

We sing in church.

We bake cakes.

We write........

See? Everything we do, automatic or not, requires our creative spirit to be exercised.

I know people who say "Oh, you are so lucky you are talented. I am not at all creative." And that is what set this train of thought in motion. You ARE creative, even if you think you are not. We have all been given talents of one sort or another, and you see, this is where it is important to realise that none of those talents, be they speaking, doing, running, whatever, can happen without creativity. And a lot more, of course, like grit, determination, and a whole lot of acquired knowledge. But creativity is key.

Choices. Options. Decisions. All involve creativity. Sure, I spend a lot of my time making things. A hobby, born of necessity and then fed by the desire to give things made by me to my family and friends. A personal touch. I am not an expert, as I said in the beginning of this series. I keep things simple, and that is how I like it. I discovered something that filled me with delight, and that is what I like about playing with fabric, wool and wood. Jack of all trades. I can do a little of everything. I try, you see. I like to try new things. To find out if I get that wonderful sense of satisfaction when they work out. Euphoria, at times. Just ask my Mum what I was like when I made the "Warm and Cosy" gifts last year. I was on a real high, and the laughter that engendered was wonderful.

But sometimes they don't work out. I make a creative choice to abandon a project. Then I move on to new pastures.

Some people can't read maps. So they buy a satnav. A creative solution to a problem. All day, every day, we are confronted with things which need us to make choices, to find solutions. To be creative, only we don't realise that creative element. Fear, of course, gets in the way at times. Fear of failure. But if you don't try, you will never know what might have been.

Often, when people pop in for coffee, they spend ages taking in the seasonal changes here. It is fun for me to see, and they seem to delight in it. There are always smiles. Sometimes, they may think I have gone a trifle overboard, (or that I am crackers) but in general they all love it. And sometimes, they go away and start looking for little touches to add to their own homes. And that creative section of the brain goes into overdrive. But it is more than just "stuff", you see. It is the atmosphere I have tried to create, which is important. Atmosphere is how we get to feel comfortable in our homes, and that feeling wraps itself around people who walk in the door.

It is not about spending money or stuff. It is all about how we make great use of the creativity we are born with. How we embrace the fact that we ARE creative. We CAN learn more. We CAN do things. Big things. Small things. Using gifts we may not yet have fully discovered.

Last night, it was house group here at my home, and one of the girls arrived early, and nothing could have pleased me more than when she made a nest among the cushions, tossed off her shoes, curled up on the couch and wrapped a blanket over her legs. She was comfortable. At home. And yes, I DID SWITCH ON THE HEATING! So it wasn't because she was cold.

I asked.

For the past 6+ years, I have been creative in ways I would never have known or learned about without the train of events that happened, happening. Every sphere of my life has been challenged. I have acquired skills I never knew I may need.  Some I never wanted to acquire at all. I have made choices, good and bad, with good and bad outcomes. I have kept learning, oh, Lord, have I ever kept learning. Kept trying. Kept grinning. Kept on going. Even when the challenges have been overwhelming. Just trying. Hey, I even learned how to crochet, remember! And it has been so hard at times, and yet, looking back, so immensely rewarding, because, so far, I have always emerged from out of the maelstrom. So far.

Find a way out. Find a solution., Find  help, if necessary. Make plans. Break plans. Hurt and be hurt. Love and keep loving. Make something out of nothing. Believe. Keep faith. Hope.

We are studying Job at church, and it has been a wonderful time of learning. Today, for some reason, I have kept singing "It is well with my soul" constantly. Oh. how I love that hymn. So I went to Youtube to find a version I could sing with and found this one. (I have been singing it loudly ever since.) I read the words under the video, which led me here and I thought about the waves which had washed over Horatio Spafford, how like Job he had been, and the word HOPE is the one which keeps sitting front and centre of my mind. My soul.


With hope, we keep alive. We keep moving. We keep doing. And in the doing, we are being unconsciously creative. I am used to saying  "I will make a plan." I will find a way. I will make it happen. I can do it. If I can, you can. (I wish you could hear me belting out that hymn as I tap away on the keyboard here. It speaks for my soul.)

I am just grinning at the thought that my epitaph could read - "I will make a plan". Hmmm. Creative till the end. (Not that I am planning an end in the next few decades, I hasten to add.)

So, enough of the philosophising for the moment, although I may yet return to the subject. So far, this has taken hours to put together. So who knows. Maybe I will go and be creative now and start drawing some patterns to paint on all those tags awaiting my artistic endeavours in the kitchen. After I feed the dogs.


Vee said...

Ahhhh, you sent me off to listen. I couldn't have chosen a better version of the hymn. So good to see those whom I know have gone on...Anthony, George...and to hear David sing so powerfully at the end.

Okay, I love this post. I'm going to have to return to read it again; although, if I am to be judged on my creativity by the color of my bedroom walls...ackkk!

I have a suggestion for you, which I will email. You know me...always a suggestion for everyone else...a true meddler...

Debbie said...

I also love the hymn "It Is Well With My Soul." I have given my children instructions that it is to be sung at my funeral.

I'm one of those who feels they are not creative at all, so thank you for a different perspective on that. It made me realize that while I'm not creative in artistic ways, I do have some creativity in other areas. Thanks, Linds!

Isabelle said...

Yes. And can I just say? - you're lovely.