Sunday, November 28, 2010
Creativity - Kieran Kramer
I wish I could see a distinct pattern, some ebb and flow, a rhythm—something!--but I don't. My state of well-being seems to have little to do with my ability to be creative, not just in my writing but in other arenas, too.
After years of wondering, I'm starting to think I see no pattern because…maybe the essence of creativity can't be pinned down. It's unknowable. Random. Mysterious.
Here we are headed toward Christmas, so I'll tell you about one magical creative moment I had: the family Christmas card, 2007. My husband, a reservist, had been unexpectedly called up to Afghanistan for an entire year and was given less than the usual notice. We were not prepared! He left two days before Halloween. I was a good military spouse on the outside, but of course, on the inside, I was not my usual self. I had to make major changes and was still trying to find my balance.
Well. You should have seen the cars slowing down to watch us as we took pictures!!
That Christmas card is the best one we've ever done.
Yes, the resolution isn't very good. I had a terrible camera and an inexpert photographer in the sweet teenaged neighbor who snapped the picture, but the feeling I get when I look at that Christmas card is one of total exhilaration. And we weren't the only ones who loved it. Perhaps our friends and family loved it out of sentimentality—after all, they care about us. But still. That picture shows one thing but means something much deeper. My kids and I had taken the loneliness and yearning we felt knowing we would have Christmas without their father and my husband and transformed those difficult feelings (which take up a lot of negative space) into something proactive and positive.
So where did that special creative energy come from in the case of the Kramer family Christmas card, 2007? Obviously, the Beatles had inspired us. But why did my conscious mind instantly pick that Abbey Road image out of the millions I had stored in my brain?
Who knows? There's no scientific equation that will explain my choice.
The cool thing about creativity is that—whatever Muse inspires us, whether it's a smiling old man, the setting sun, a dandelion, a burst of strong emotion, or a Beatles album cover—the creation, however humble, is bigger than the sum of its parts.
Thanks to the magic.
May the magic of the holiday season bring you and your loved ones all kinds of joy!