You the Creator

Algie and his device

Algie and his device

Four or five years back, when I wrote that book about Life, I called the final section Creativity and Creation.  It began thus:

What have you made lately – a model; a cake; a piece of furniture; dinner; a mess…?  I’ll bet you’ve done quite a bit of creating over the last week or so.  And how did you do it?  You got some stuff; you changed it in some way – maybe shaping or cutting, heating or cooling; you probably mixed it with, or joined it to other stuff and carried on changing or modifying it until your creation was complete.

OK, so you might be protesting that all you did was take a ready-meal out of the freezer, pierce the film lid and put it in the microwave, but you still created a hot, steaming meal out of a frozen lump.  You created something by changing stuff.  Hold that idea.  Hold it nice and tight.

I knew – at an intuitive, rather than an intellectual level – that creating ‘stuff’ was important.  Not just important, but vital.  I also knew that it didn’t actually matter what you were creating.  It could be a painting or a compost heap, a symphony or an ad on eBay.  It was the creative process that mattered.

Thimble sized machines

Thimble sized machines

That idea came back to me a few weeks ago, when I was engaged in my latest hobby – creating  miniature Steam Punk characters and their equipment from up-cycled dolls’ house dolls, wire, watch parts and the like.

Bella: 6 inches/15 cm tall

It takes ages.  I completely lose myself in the process and come as close to absolute happiness and satisfaction as is possible when I hit technical problems and find ingenious ways to overcome them.  There’s a kind of excitement bubbling up inside me as the transformations take place.  Yet that’s been tempered by a mocking voice from my rational mind:

“Why waste so much time on something this pointless?  What use are they?  Shouldn’t I be putting my energy into something more ‘worthy’?”

Amelia - before and after

Amelia – before and after

Lars

Lars

So the internal dialogue has been going.  I can’t deny the rational thoughts.  No one needs a 1/12 scale Steam Punk figure.  Yet at some very deep level I have known that the process of creating them – battling with the limitations of the materials and my skills – is hugely important to me.  I have felt the same as I did when renovating my dilapidated cottage – an initial mental image of how I want the finished product to look, a moment of doubt when I compared that idea to the reality of the items strewn around me, an intense fixation on the eventual result, an unshakeable belief that it would all work out perfectly and – finally – jubilation at having created the end product.

Henry: yes, they're very small

Henry: yes, they’re very small

It needed a mind and voice more finely tuned than my own to put the importance of ‘You the Creator’ into its true perspective.  I found these words in The Afterdeath Journal of an American Philosopher:

It is the tension between the search for fulfilment or perfection and the actual performance possible in the physical world that promotes creative acts as they are understood.  For true creativity always destroys limitations and increases the mental, spiritual, psychic or physical areas of expression open to man.

That’s it.  It applies as much to the time warping experiments I’m engaged in with William to the little figures I’m building in my study.  It applies to every creative process you are engaged in, too.

 

I think therefore I am;  I create, therefore I am The Creator – and so are you.

 

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7 comments on “You the Creator

  1. Pingback: Meant to Be | Looking at Life

  2. I often feel this way about my drive to be creative. I just don’t have the manual dexterity I need to create physical things, so I have to work with the intangible -words and ideas. BTW, I have been refining my ability to time-bend while I’m sleeping so that my sleep is more restorative. I’m getting more consistent results now. I hadn’t thought of hat as part of a creative life, but perhaps you’re right.

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