Friday, March 26, 2010

Standing in the Q

"One must create a vision, and not merely something one knows to exist."
~Alberto Giacometti

I've taken a bit of flack over all of my recent posts about creativity. Some folks have protested that I'm talking about art and my process too much. Well. Too bad. It's where I am in my life right now. Besides, the creative process isn't just about the fine arts, ya big Sillies. Creativity ought to be part of nearly everything we do. When your children complain that they're bored, do you simply tell them to go watch TV? If you do, shame on you! When I was a kid, we never ever dared complain of boredom. Doing that was a sure way to end up with extra chores. We could make a couple of branches turn into an afternoon long playtime. The branch was a gun, or a horse whip, or a fairy wand, or a sceptre, or something you had to hop over, because if you touched it, it was an aligator and would surely bite off your foot.

I live with a man who is highly creative. He doesn't dabble in the fine arts, can't understand poetry, much less fiction, at all. However, he can look at an engine, any engine, and know how it works, and know what needs to be done to make it work. He can listen to it run and say, "Oh, it needs a new hoozy-whatz and the jigginflatz is gummed up." Then he proceeds to tear the thing apart, fix it, and put it all back together without a single left over part. That's a creativity I can't relate to, but that I deeply admire. He tries to teach me, really he does. He tries to tell me all about the parts and what they do and why. And, although I'm engaged and interested, I just don't get it. I still don't know a whatchamajig from a thingamajig. I do love watching him work - he falls into a rabbit hole all his own.

See, creativity is all about non-linear thinking. I've heard this before, but once again it was brought home to me yesterday as I read a wonderful blog post at Creative Chai. Dave, the blogger, is writing a six part series on the creative process. In the foreword to this series he writes: "Creativity is a non-linear process. We start out at Point A and end up at Point C, or Point Q, or any other point that happens to not be called Point B. This is because, on the way from Point A to Point B , impossible things happen that steer us away from our original endpoint and onto fresher, shinier, more startling destinations."

I end up at Point Q fairly often, certainly more so now than I ever have. Why? I allow it, for one. Secondly, I seek it. (There is a difference.) Most importantly, I refuse to settle for mundane. I refuse to do anything that will force my inner child to whine, "I'm bored." I don't want to do chores, I want to build visions. A bit of a grandios statement, true, but why not put it out there? If we refuse one thing, we're forced to contend with and/or react to another.

Take a journey this weekend... a non-linear journey. Just a little one... baby steps, remember. You don't have to go far, but don't be surprised at the places where you might end up. If you need to reach me, I'll be taking a non-linear walk on the un-road to Q... or maybe W... I never know where I'm going to end up.


  1. Nice post Barb. Is that your work at the top? Not at all mundane!

  2. Hi Hilary,

    Thanks, it is! All the artwork on my blog is my own - except for some of the goofy, obviously internet pictures that I posted about a year and a half ago.


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.