Creativity a part of survival

IMG_9286Creativity. Life has a way of crowding out creativity. But what is life if not creative?


Survival. Survival at the mercy of our society’s structure.


But there are those who don’t survive very well without following the creative impulses, whether they lead to inventing, or organizing, or creating beauty through words, color or structure. I am one of those people… When life crowds out the ability to create, I withdraw inside myself and move toward being a hermit, which causes other issues inside of me. Spending time with people has always put deposits into my emotional bank, and moving away from people depletes the balance to the point where “why bother” enters into my thought process. The fallacy that I can be self sustaining and not need others permeates my mind.


Drastic changes happen.


My husband sees those changes, and gets concerned. He acts, and I flourish.


Over the last couple of years, life has crowded out much of my creative time. I have let every day duties and responsibilities drain me to the point of not having enough energy to create. My husband changed all that. He bought me a pottery class, which is really a wonderful clay workshop. He knew if he paid for the classes, I would go, and it has been wonderful!


I had no idea what to expect, whether it would be directed or independent work, hand building or working on the wheel. It has turned out to be a combination of all those things, with a knowledgeable instructor as a guide. The instructor gives pointers, and answers questions, but she allows me to figure some things out for myself. I like that. When I worked with the Japanese potters while living in Malaysia, they micromanaged more, which makes it difficult for me. I do better if given the freedom to figure out parts of it on my own.


IMG_9292I started with hand building, experimenting with a braid around the outside of a plate, and moved to using the wheel. When I am sitting at the wheel I feel like a kid in a sandbox. Looking at the clump of clay, having an idea of what I want to make, but not really knowing what the end result will be is like opening a package. The anticipation and watching the clay change shape is exhilarating.


I think working with clay gives me one more connection with the earth. I am deeply connected with God’s creations, knowing energy flows through everything, tying us all together. I love the feel of dark earth freshly turned, or compost made from months of sitting in my compost pile. Working in the soil and then watching as plants inch their way out out of the ground is a gift, and a daily reminder of the many blessings of life itself.


Maybe touching and manipulating clay is the same for me. That hadn’t occurred to me until my husband mentioned it. I think he is right.


Anyway, the creative juices are flowing again, almost to the point of frustration. Not frustration in that my mind is coming up with all kinds of creative ideas, but frustration in not having enough time to bring those ideas to life.


I once heard someone say “God does not make you hungry for bread and give you a stone.” The gifts we are given are to be used and nurtured. For me, an eclectic artist, that means words, color, the earth, etc. are gifts that nurture me and sometimes bless others.


Sanity and survival go hand in hand, and sanity is fickle thing. When survival crowds out creativity, sanity whittles away. I’m glad my husband pushed me back toward my eclectic art.


What helps keep you sane? Be careful of allowing life to crowd that out.



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