So I spent a few days doing exactly what I felt like doing, and may I say it was fabulous? It was, really. I ate or I didn’t eat, depending on whether I was hungry. I read a book if I felt like it, I finished a quilt, I meditated…I also cleaned my car, inside and out (the weather was nice and I like it clean), I weeded the garden, cleaned the house from top to bottom, I took some stuff I’ve been meaning to get rid of to the Salvation Army, I wrote a little, watched a movie, took a few naps, exercised, and had a girls’ night with my friends (which was wicked fun!). I sat on the front porch thinking and watching the grass grow, I played on the computer…All in all, I simply enjoyed myself being responsible for only me. Now I’m ready to get back to real life. Because while it is nice to take some time to just be, having responsibilities isn’t so bad, either.
In fact, I am suddenly thinking that it’s doing all the things that need doing in life that helps me be creative. The more I’m challenged by life, the more I’m exposed to other people and their thoughts, the more I see when I’m out and about, the more I do for others, the more inspired I get. I’ve always felt my ideas don’t always just come directly through me – often they are sparked by something I see, hear or experience while I’m being productive, or other people’s ideas spark a new idea in me, or I build on something I’ve seen or heard.
When I was teaching I was willing to try anyone’s idea if it worked for them, and I freely shared my stuff, too. I love bouncing ideas off of other people, looking at other people’s creations to spark my own – not necessarily to copy them exactly; sometimes their ideas lead me in the direction of something I’m excited about.
We’re all connected in a sort of collective way, even though we might not realize it. I’ve noticed often that I might have a design thought and I might even make the thing, and then I find out someone else has the same or a very similar idea (usually there’s a much easier way to do it than the way I figured out). Some people find that idea threatening, but I think it’s beautiful - and it’s okay, really. I can’t get too fussed about being completely “original.” I’m just happy that I get lots of ideas that I can’t wait to create. To me, creativity is a gift, and I am grateful for it. I’m not worried that someone else is creative, too. There’s plenty of creativity to go around, and many, many different forms of it, too.
Sure, creativity does just happen sometimes, but I don’t think it ever occurs in a vacuum. We may not be able to directly attribute a new idea to anything consciously, but it comes from the connectedness and continuity of life, an openness to new and different ideas, and it leads to more new and innovative stuff - wave after wave of creativity, all welling up from the same abundantly creative ocean that we all swim in. It may show up completely differently in most of us, but it is the same soup, of that I’m certain.
Getting back to my original point, after just being for a while, I find that I am more of an action-type person – I like to be pretty busy most of the time, and it seems when I’m active and interacting with others is when I find the most inspiration and ideas. I also see the value of just being, on a regular basis – sitting, contemplating, meditating – those things help me get centered, calm me, keep me open, help me remain present. It’s a balance. For me, my fulcrum is more towards the “doing” side, but I now find that without the equalizer of just being, I can’t necessarily remember to enjoy the doing.
I’d be interested to hear from you if you find you need more of one than the other, and where you find your inspiration.
So I finished and shipped the charity quilt, Down the Red Steps. I did a little less quilting on it and used a little thicker batting, and it resembles a comforter, a little. I’m pleased with it, and I hope it makes some little boy very happy and warm!
I also finished the “Happy Quilt” and it makes me happy. I hope it will make others feel that sunshine-y spring sky the way it does me.
I really love it, and it looks so simple but graphic. I learned a lot from it, as i always do.