C is for Creativity

Creativity isn’t just to do with matters ‘arty,’ of course; the definition can extend way beyond the paints and brushes to all lateral thinking ‘outside the box.’ (which is itself a cliche now; can you think of a new way of expressing the concept?)

When I started school, my mother replaced my first school shoelaces with elastic, knowing that I struggled with coordination. No slip- on/strap shoes/slippers allowed; (this was the 1960s, folks, self-esteem hadn’t been invented). Looking back, though, what a brilliant example of using creativity to find a way around a problem that kept the Powers That Be happy and to enable autonomy for me.

It’s a different way of looking at the world; changing the coloured lenses through which you view and react to a situation. It can mean ‘doing different,’ standing out. It can put you in a vulnerable place. Today’s picture is from an old art journaling project I once took part in; my ‘word for the year:’ ‘Creativity’ and its twin ‘ Vulnerability.’

Mind you, you can have too much of a good thing.UK readers, do you remember illustrator, cartoonist and writer Posy Simmonds? I just loved the scene showing a phone call between a rather ample lady of a certain age and her daughter. If I remember rightly, the latter has just been sacked or made redundant from her job and is grumbling non-stop about all the difficulties arising. Mum, is being a right Job’s comforter; trotting out the usual platitudes about how different life was back in her day; ‘ you young people..’ ‘working mothers,’ ‘ at least you’ll have plenty time to get all the egg off the forks,’ etc. As a parting shot, she declares that she never gets bored; she always finds something to fill her days. Call over- she turns to her poor husband, who’s in a nearby armchair, cowering behind his newspaper. ‘ Now what shall I make for you next?’ she asks. We look round to see a room covered in cross-stitch samplers, embroidered cushions, upholstery, antimacassars, magazine covers; you name it, she’s made it. Hubby is even sporting tapestry slippers. I fear he’ll be next in line as an outlet for her creative urges.

A dreadful warning for all we busy bees who’ve been bitten by the creative bug during lockdown? Who knows?

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