“You can’t use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have.” —Maya Angelou
On Facebook last week, I learned that January is creativity month, very appropriate for many of us in the United States when the days are short, and the nights are cold. However, I can’t help but think that every month should be creativity month because it seems to me that creativity brings spark into our lives and helps give it meaning.
There are, of course, many different ways of being creative, from knitting and crocheting to sewing to writing to singing to taking pictures to cooking to gardening to weaving to making things great and small. As the current movie Hidden Figures illustrates, even math can be creative. The creative life does not follow one track nor should it. One of the beauties of creativity is the different forms it takes.
Nowhere is the scope of creativity more evident than through the blogs I read. I follow many blogs, but the one feature they all share is an astonishing creativity—in all its various aspects. (Yes, I know there are blogs that are not so positive, but I don’t follow them.) When I read about the goings-on of my blog friends, what they create and how they live, I feel inspired and enlarged. It reminds me that there is much good in our species, something I need to keep in mind right now as the drum roll to repeal the Affordable Care Act gets ever louder.
I could feature any of the blogs I follow as prime examples of creativity, but for this post I want to focus on Melissa of The Aran Artisan and her incredible, nimble-fingered family. In “Creative Support for the Homeless,” a post written before Christmas, Melissa told of how her family rented a table at a local craft fair. The post featured pictures of all the beautiful things she and her family made to sell, with proceeds going to “Galway Simon to show support for their work to end homelessness in our neighbouring mainland community.”
Readers, I’m not going to spoil the ending by revealing how Melissa and her family did at the craft fair. For that you must read her post to find out.
Creativity can also be, well, soothing. Last week, I had a sinus infection that made me feel woozy. Fortunately, I wasn’t sick to my stomach, but every time I moved my head I felt dizzy, and even reading was a struggle—a very bad thing for me. One late afternoon, after forcing myself to do some household chores, I gave up and settled on the couch. I went to the Create TV channel, from American Public Television.
I learned the ins and outs of starting a llama farm business and then a soy candle business. I watched Pati make Mexican lasagne, and I watched the recent instalment of This Old House and the progress they were making on an Arts and Crafts home. There was nothing negative, nothing harsh, just people doing a wide variety of creative things.
I know. We have to watch and read the news. We have to keep track of what is going on in the world, and all too often this isn’t pretty. But living creatively and following the creativity of others isn’t retreating from the world. Instead, for me, it provides a place of illumination and beauty, a way to recoup from the hustle and turmoil all too often created by our species.
This is not only good, but it is also necessary.