I’ll let you in on a secret. I’m a little bit quirky. And I have the capacity for brashness that is absolutely cringeworthy in a crowd. All in all, being me in north east England can, on occasion, be a tricky business. But never mind that. I have friends. I have adventures. And when all that gets a bit too much, there is always a mountain of laundry to fold.
But back to the point. A friend of mine who likes to blog on occasion was giving me a lift to a baby shower this last weekend. (No, he wasn’t going to the baby shower, it’s a complicated story.) Anyway, he asked me what I thought about his latest post.
“It’s cool,” I said, “It’s about creativity.” Which it is, amongst a myriad of other things. He uses lots of metaphors, so it’s open to interpretation. (I’d put a link in here, but I don’t know how.)
“Well, it is and it isn’t,” he said, “But you should write that. It’s nice when people leave a comment.” (True that.)
“Yeah, but what do you think creativity is?” I asked.
At this point the conversation, rather than sparkling up into interesting debate about the various kinds of creativity that exist, fizzled completely. I blame the lorry and the steady succession of roundabouts. Suddenly we were staring out the window at horses and lambs in fields and my brain wasn’t up much for a debate.
But the thought managed to survive the baby shower and the two sleeps I have had since then. SO I never did write that comment (but I might still), but I have written this instead.
Because we can get caught up in thinking that creativity is this Big Thing. “Oh, I can’t do that,” we say sagely to one another, “I’m not Creative.” And we look down and to the left just a bit and flick imaginary dust from our knee and sip our coffee. Or better yet, we nod to each other and point at the woman in the corner with the patchwork waistcoat, “Never mind. She’s just Creative.” Like it’s a disease and we’re not sure if we want to catch it or not.
Of course, I am a bit on the creative side, in the sense that I do stuff with a bit of flair. I must be Creative. My walking stick has multi-coloured polka dots on it. Normal people choose black walking sticks, everybody knows that.
I think of creativity differently. I think we are all creative, but the mode of expression is different. Some people write it, or cook it, or photogrpah it, and you’re left with a something to look at and you can say “Mr Creative did that”. But then there’s the ability to walk into a B&Q and pick out the right colour blind to go with the curtains, with absolute certainty. And then politely nudge your wife so she thinks she’s choosing the kitchen blind, but really you’re making sure she chooses the right one. My friend might not think that counts as creativity, but that everyday creativity, that’s the best kind.
But what do I know? I talk to cats.