some thoughts on creativity.
Molly emails Rick:
Just found this . . . not sure if you want to include it in the blog today.
Actually not sure what it is from – it just appeared in my photos. Weird.
Those synchronicities happen a lot around here. That "B" which Molly found is an illuminated letter (gold leaf) that Maria and I tangled as we gave a keynote speech at the Craft and Hobby Association convention in Anaheim, California, a couple years ago. Thanks, Molly!
Maria and I recently traveled to Taiwan and Malaysia for a series of book-signings and lectures. The trip was beyond wonderful – full of amazing and beautiful people and beautiful patterns. It was a thrill and honor and we continue to bask in the memories.
On our last day in Taipei, Taiwan, we got up early to get ready for our trip to the airport to come home. Wanting to savor every precious moment there, I walked across the street to the Shandao Temple a bit before 6AM. As I climbed the steps, I could hear the monks were already singing as the subtle incense greeted me. I was the only other person there. I sat down to absorb a few last minutes of that atmosphere.
I watched my thoughts go to the topic of service. I thought about "service to others" vs. "service to self." But I was not comfortable with that dichotomy. Then the phrase, "service to creation" crossed my mind and I promptly reached into my pocket for pen and paper and wrote, "Serve creation by creating!" Ahh, I felt our trip was complete and I walked back to the hotel for our ride to the airport.
To create is, by definition, in harmony with creation. Once creativity begins to flow, it feels as if all creation supports that event. As someone described, it's like "stepping into the slipstream of creation."
"mamie p" wrote in the comments to yesterday's "Come out of your shell" post, "Sometimes the hardest part of coming out of my shell is making that first stroke . . . then the rest comes to take the final step of admiration and enjoyment."
Thank you. That is so profound.
Our invitation to all of you is to make that first stroke.
One of the gifts of the Zentangle Method is that it sets up a comfortable "elegance of limits" within which you can do just that, without worry or self-criticism.
And once you create that first beautiful mark, you're there . . . in that inspiring, gentle, resonant flow of creativity – of creation. And you realize that you can be there . . . whenever and wherever you want.
I am a true believer in fate. In fact, fate inserts itself into my life so often, that I can't even tell anyone about it anymore lest they think I have fallen off my "twilight zone" rocker. Little things appear on a regular basis out of nowhere and just make my life ever so . . . interesting.
When Molly came to me and said we were doing these Twelve Days of Bijou, I thought, "OMG, this is way too much work for this time of year!" But as usual, I listen to my children, like a dutiful child. And, I have always been glad I did.
These ornaments are practically making themselves. We have not bought one special thing to do this project. All "stuff" we found around the house. Snippets of ribbons, string, tchotchkes, and trinkets – hiding out at the bottom of forgotten drawers and sewing baskets. Useless pieces of old jewelry and broken ornaments practically appeared as needed.
This morning, I remembered a tin of broken tea cups I have been keeping, thinking that someday I would use them for "something." My Dad (an angel, for sure) had given me some fabulous old tea cups that belonged to his mom. They did not have much, so these were really valuable to me. One day, they broke – a long story, but I cried all day.
As soon as I thought of those broken cups, I ran into my sewing/ironing/dressing room and grabbed a piece. Just holding it in my hands was a thrill: I had never before so appreciated the patterns, raised braille-like and illuminated with gold on the white china. Spectacular! (And Alfie's fav, too.)
Again, the concept of the "elegance of limits" came to mind. Like days gone by, people would make things out of other things. They had no craft stores to run to, no books on what to make with bits of rawhide or pottery shards. They saved everything because that's what they had to work with. And I believe those limited supplies inspired them do things they otherwise never would have – rag dolls, re-fashioned bicycles, clothing out of old clothing . . .
Molly and I were determined to CREATE using found (albeit around the house) objects. And what better a found object than that piece of cup?
Creativity was my best friend growing up. It never left my side. It would wake me in the night; cause my brain to explode in the middle of church. It also made me comfortable to be alone at times, even in a household bustling with numerous siblings, and later on, my kids. Creativity was the biggest gift in my lifetime. Was it handed down to me? Or was I just born this way? Aren't we all born this way?
However you come to it or it comes to you, or when, Please, Please, don't let it get away. Don't let it fade. Hold onto it with all you got.
This is our gift to you. It is your gift to yourself. Treasure it!
If you don't believe you are capable of it, just pick up a piece of paper and start to tangle.
There it is . . . see it?
It's lovely. Really, just lovely.
Winning, randomly chosen commenters from the Ninth Day:
- Chrissie Frampton
- Laura Carpenter
Congratulations! Winners, please send your snail mail address to Zentangle (at) gmail (dot) com.
Thanks again for all your wonderful comments!
Rick, Maria, Bijou, Molly, and Alfie