Thoughts On Creativity

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By Neal Lemery
(February 13, 2019)

“Creativity is just connecting things. When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel a little guilty because they didn’t really do it, they just saw something. It seemed obvious to them after a while. That’s because they were able to connect experiences they’ve had and synthesize new things.” — Steve Jobs

Creativity is a door to be opened, letting in fresh air, ideas to be rearranged, reordered, pursuing new ways, the old redone.


Becoming Evolving Changing Growing Progressing — a human being, not a human doing
Artist Creative Painter Musician Nurturer Convener Grower Planter Weeder Harvester Naturalist Scientist Poet Writer Observer Listener Sensate Kind Intuitive Patient Tolerant Righteous Advocate Teacher Healer Mediator Verbal Curious Student Activist Doer Changer Leader Introvert Parent Child Partner Journeyer Traveler Understanding Compassionate Inquisitive Thoughtful Watchful Mindful
Looking at it from all angles, taking a different perspective, a fresh viewpoint
Not satisfied with others’ opinions and thoughts
Asking why, again and again
Enjoying the stillness, before the answer
Not the easy way out, the obvious
Taking the road not taken
Hearing the different drummer

“For what is man, what has he got?
If not himself, then he has naught
To say the things he truly feels
And not the words of one who kneels
The record shows I took the blows
And did it my way.”
“My Way”, sung by Frank Sinatra (Songwriters: Claude Francois/ Gilles Thibaut/ Jacques Revaus/ Paul Anka. My Way lyrics © Warner Chappell Music France, Jeune Misique Editions, MBG Rights Management.

Space will open up, allowing the mind to breathe, to ponder, to be still. And, in that stillness, ideas which have been floating around, coming close, can be allowed to come into me and settle, to take form, and find expression, becoming thoughts. They will find form, and allow themselves to weave and dance with other ideas, new creations, almost ready to take on a name and an identity.

“As [Stone] was growing up in rural Virginia, she would be out, working in the fields and she would feel and hear a poem coming at her from over the landscape. It was like a thunderous train of air and it would come barreling down at her over the landscape. And when she felt it coming . . . ’cause it would shake the earth under her feet, she knew she had only one thing to do at that point. That was to, in her words, “run like hell” to the house as she would be chased by this poem.
“The whole deal was that she had to get to a piece of paper fast enough so that when it thundered through her, she could collect it and grab it on the page. Other times she wouldn’t be fast enough, so she would be running and running, and she wouldn’t get to the house, and the poem would barrel through her and she would miss it, and it would “continue on across the landscape looking for another poet.”
“And then there were these times, there were moments where she would almost miss it. She is running to the house and is looking for the paper and the poem passes through her. She grabs a pencil just as it’s going through her and she would reach out with her other hand and she would catch it. She would catch the poem by its tail and she would pull it backwards into her body as she was transcribing on the page. In those instances, the poem would come up on the page perfect and intact, but backwards, from the last word to the first.” –Elizabeth Gilbert, on the poet, Ruth Stone

I dare to be different, to think outside the box, or not even believe in boxes, to imagine the “unbox” or the “anti-box”. I strive to celebrate my differences, to be and act different. Just me, without the need for others, for their defining of the creative, the becoming imagined, the shaper of the creation. It is enough for all that to be within and through me; the undefinable.
The Muse will come. The Muse has come in the past, and is present, or close enough to be felt in this here and now. I am merely the provider of the space, the place, the keeper of the kindling awaiting the match.
I am often only the vessel, the instrument, the mover of the pen or the brush, the picker of the guitar, the hand, the embodiment of the vibrations, the something through which the work is passing through.
And that is enough, in a moment. I am a holder of a space, that which embraces and gives shape and movement, the true expression to that which is moving through me in a certain space and time.

Neal C. Lemery – Community volunteer, mentor, and author – Homegrown Tomatoes: Essays and Musings From My Garden; Mentoring Boys to Men: Climbing Their Own Mountains; and Finding My Muse on Main Street are available at Amazon.com. More about my books at neallemery.com
“Be the change you want to see in the world.” -Mahatma Gandhi