Maya Angelou tells us that: You can’t use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have.
So what sparks creativity? Where does it come from? Where does it hide? Why do some people seem to have such an abundance of creativity, while others claim they have none? Are we born with it? Or does it come from some unseen source?
My son, Devin, is probably the most creative person I know. Honestly, he continuously amazes me. He can play beautiful music, he can draw phenomenally well, and his photography is absolutely mind-blowing! (Visit his website DCM Photography to see for yourself.)
Devin seems to see more and hear more than most other people I know, and he seems to see things differently than most too.
For example, In the picture below, I only saw a teacup, but Devin saw beyond the cup:
I’m left wondering – where does this creativity come from?
Amy Tan poses a few ideas of where creativity hides:
In the nature area, we look at whether or not we are innately equipped with something, perhaps in our brains, some abnormal chromosome that causes this muse-like effect. And some people would say that we’re born with it in some other means. And others, like my mother, would say that I get my material from past lives. Some people would also say that creativitymay be a function of some other neurological quirk –van Gogh syndrome — that you have a little bit of, you know, psychosis, or depression.
Devin isn’t psychotic or depressed, and doesn’t seem to be overally abnormal (but that begs the question, what is normal?)
So these ideas that Ms. Tan offers don’t satisfy me. It seems so much bigger than that to me. She comes a lot closer when she continues:
“. . . quantum mechanics, which I really don’t understand, but I’m still gonna use it as the process for explaining . . . there’s a lot of unknown, and you often don’t know what it is . . . but things come together in a kind of synergy . . . and ambiguity . . . and I would link that to something called the cosmological constant . . . you don’t know what is operating, but something is operating there.”
That’s much more satisfying to me. Indescribable, ambiguous, an uncertainty of what exactly is behind it all. Because to me, creativity is a bit like magic, unknown and huge and exciting. And I truly believe we can all access our own creativity, we just have to get out of our own way and pay attention to things, to the space between things, sort of let go, listen quietly to the very small voice within, let things get out of focus for a minute so we can allow the fuzzy bits to come into focus. Hard to put into words, ambiguous and hard to describe. Perhaps beyond description.
I’d love to hear about your sparks of creativity. Please let me know what inspires you to create.
And as always, thank you for taking the time to visit, I appreciate it.