Creativity. The Soul’s Fingerprint.

Creativity lurks within the everyday tasks some take for granted.  There’s always an opportunity to step up to the plate.  It’s not hard.  Doesn’t require anything more than doing it.

To my way of thinking being “creative” means answering  that soft, small voice deep within me that drives me to write, knit, garden, and live to the best of my ability.  There’s an inherent problem that “creatives” miss.  That miss disguises itself as mimicry.  You know, we hear it all the time.  “X” is so creative, you should try to [enter creative endeavor here] like “X”.  That’s when my blood begins a slow simmer and not for the reasons you might think.

My friends are wildly creative and successful in their pursuits [read:  they get paid for what they do].  I stand in awe of their gifts, but I don’t want to sacrifice my individuality by attempting to work as they do.  As they say, “it works for them”.  We might share techniques, but we don’t attempt to replicate each others’ efforts.  It doesn’t make a bit of sense from a creative standpoint. The pure creative process comes from deep inside the soul, so basically folks are asking the artist to sacrifice their at process in order to craft like someone else.  Not creative…by a long shot.  Insulting?  You betcha.

What really spikes my blood pressure  emanates from someone who feels the need to control another’s artist’s emotions.  As Charlotte Bronte said, “Better to be without logic than without feeling.”  Yet, I’ve heard folks chastise those who are just getting in touch with their inner artist for expressing feelings that ultimately can be transformed into art.  It’s as though the “creative parent” corrects a creative newbie for crying.  The “don’t cry command” barricades the shell.  The healthy guidance would be to encourage an artist to express those feelings in their chosen art form. Anything else constitutes “creativity abuse” IMHO.

Feelings are personal…authentic…no one can feel those emotions  but the person who lives in that skin.  We might relate to another’s feelings.  We might recoil from them, but they are the energy that drives the artist.  Their feelings are their soul’s fingerprints.

So, if you find yourself in a situation that inhibits your creativity, that asks you to do something you know from the depth of your soul you are not, rather than shines a light on your art, run for hills.

 

 

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Arthur…Arthur…Arthur

Today’s buzz focused on a tropical storm down off Florida that’s expected to give our shores a glancing blow. Eastern North Carolina’s Outer Banks might see Arthur reborn into a hurricane, but then again the lad could push out to the open water. Could be peaches. Could be tuna. Now why do I care so much about this cluster of heavy rain, tornadoes, and thunder-boomers?

First of all, even though we’re smack dab in the middle of hurricane season, as declared by the National Weather service, we see little activity this early in the season. We hear warnings that something sitting in the middle of the Atlantic may/could/potentially/who-the-heck knows arrive in four or five days, a real ratings-grabber if you work in television. In fact, an early hurricane visited on June 4-5 in 1825, clobbering Cuba, Florida, and South Carolina.  By and large, we start squirming a bit from August through late October.

What intrigues me about this storm involves its birth. It hasn’t labored enough yet to be dubbed a hurricane. Once it winds up, the next stop North Carolina, up and over the Banks, then it’s supposed to go east into open water. If I stayed awake in Emergency Preparedness class (I did), these are the storms that require careful scrutiny due to their time and distance.

The time reason involves the stopping, starting, stalling part of a storm track. Arthur might decide to bulk up in the warm water, slow down to savor the climate, or it could take off like a shot. If it takes time to graze and shift a little to left, um, well…not good.

The distance factor hails back to the old math problems we had to solve in school. If Arthur’s going 20 miles per hour, etc., etc. If he slows down or speeds up impacts planning because this guy isn’t four or five days away, he’s 24 hours away.

All is not lost. Arthur’s energy might be very good for us because we’ve been stuck in “Tomato Weather”.   The hazy, hot, and humid stuff that makes me want to stay in the shower or hug the air conditioner.   Dickens sits in front of it now in quiet repose.  The thermometer reads 88 degrees, but the “Feels Like” temp is 95!  The tomatoes have formed and I’m waiting for them to ripen a bit, but it’ll get done sooner, rather than later.  Arthur promises to take tomato weather with him.

But the absolute best part of the onset a storm is this:  I can tell a native New Englander by the language he uses to discuss the weather.  A native doesn’t call a hurricane a hurricane.  He doesn’t care of its name is Arthur or Zelda.  To him what’s coming has a name “The Big Storm” or “The Big Blow”.  Stories rise about past encounters involving rough seas, rotten or regal boat captains, incredible waves, and the pluses or minuses of a boat.  Sitting at the local diner, guys sit along the counter swapping sea stories to the point their adrenaline levels red line.  They’re going out tonight and to return before things get rough.

As the waitress places my fish and chips on the table, I look at the plate then back at the fishermen.  I’m not only enjoying one of God’s creatures, but also the fruits of these brave men’s efforts in all sorts of weather.

And I thank them.