Present Tense

You are creative….period.


I wrote this some time ago, but have been musing on creativity lately.  Maybe it’s due to all of the graduation speeches that I’ve heard and the constant drum beat that only the arts are creative.  So, a re-post.  

Are you creative?  I used to be. In fact, I spent a lot of my life fancying myself as a “creative type”.  I gravitated toward the humanities and possessed little interest or aptitude in math and science.  I’m sure somewhere along the way, a teacher told my parents that I was creative or something and it kind of stuck.

In my teens and 20s, as I was trying to figure out who I was, I deduced that since I liked to sing, write and drink  I was “creative”!  I now know after researching  my genealogy, that I’m not really creative; I’m Welsh.  I would describe myself as quirky, curious and irreverent, rather than “creative” in the artsy, traditional sense.

The upside of convincing other people that you’re “creative”, “artistic” or a “free spirit” is that there’s a distinct possibility  that you’ll be forgiven a multitude of sins.    Lazy, broke, late, unfocused, messy, blunt, unreliable, drunk; all are forgiven for those who convince others that they are so full of fabulous, lofty ideas that they can barely dress themselves.

Here’s my point.  Everyone is creative because we’re humans.  We adapt, we innovate, we re-think, we re-do, we are never satisfied and thus, we create.  Culturally, we seem to only prize and foster creativity in the arts, which is short-sighted.  The arts are great; they fill our soul, they inspire, soothe and uplift, but what about the creativity that has made it possible for me to write and post this on the World Wide Web?

What about the doctors who saved Congressman Gabrielle Giffords’ life, after a bullet crashed through her head?  It was creativity that launched the space program.  The idea of the “mad scientist” is actually a nod to creativity.  We don’t look at Einstein as merely a physicist, we admire his ability to think outside of the boundaries of known science and I have no idea whether he could sing or paint or dance.

I read a post on Facebook from an old high school friend, who works with troubled kids and he wrote about finding ways to connect with them that might be different from “the manual”.  He’s faced with that challenge everyday and he and his staff shift on the fly to find out what sings to each kid.  Creativity.

I watched Rick, the stone mason we hired, begin with a pickax, shovel and wheelbarrow and within days, build and create a beautiful flagstone walkway that transformed the once ugly entrance to our house.  He dealt with the drainage, the materials, the design, the problems and my husband’s constant  ‘supervision’.  Creativity.

We admire, celebrate and almost worship, those in the arts for their contributions and it sends the wrong message to kids.  Think about the stuff in your life that REALLY enhances your existence on earth; maybe you do live for art, but for most of us, Henry Ford’s contributions outweigh Picasso’s.  I’m not belittling the arts, but few of us will ever really swim in that ocean.  But, we can creatively parent, cook, troubleshoot, manage, think, contribute, invent, love and grow.

May 14, 2013 Posted by | Musings | , , , , | 5 Comments


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