Tuesday, September 26, 2006

The Rationality behind Creativity

I do not know if everyone is creative, considers herself to be creative, or even wants to be creative. Some people I do know put creativity down, thinking it is a land of dreams; and that science and rationality are divorced from creativity and that these terms are mutually exclusive. While that is another argument that I wish to destroy, I will do so in another rant. To get back to what I began, I always knew I was creative, and wanted to hone this talent. Somehow, what was acquired in the earlier years of school in art, music, writing, got lost along the way while studying economics and then bringing up a family. However, I did practice interior design, which gave vent to my creativity for a while, but I found it too taxing to manage both work and home, and gave it up soon enough, concentrating full force on family and various commitments therein. There was a deadening then, of myself, in many ways. I called myself happy in my dedication, but let me tell you that attending to household demands robs you of whatever energies you need for yourself, for only when you have time and space will creativity flow and blossom. At least in my case this holds true, for I do know that I am no Rowlings. What she had going for her was an extreme situation of poverty, desertion and need that drove her on and I did not have that. I was too neatly settled in my sheltered space of loving family and their need for me, to want to do anything else. Something jarred and nagged at the back of my mind, and I made some attempts at finding meaningful work, but there was no joy in it. The nine to five syndrome could not work for me, I was too old to adjust. New jobs could not work for me; they did not want to adjust to older workers when youngsters were biting at the leash for lesser pay. At home, the family demanded I attend to them first and I always complied.

I needed a moment to myself, and my family would not give me that. Rather, I can say now that I did not ask them to give me that.

I was struggling to find some time to myself, but when I did, my energies would be at a low, since I had frittered them away in mundane tasks. If this is sounding like a dirge, I guess it is one. I had to fight then, let go of some tasks and ask family members to chip in, fight for my time to write, and tell them that this was important to me, so what if it did not pay me a dime. Writing is what I realized was my love, and I wanted to get to it. It has been a struggle though, and the fact that I am getting published is just a feather in the cap, but the booty is yet to come. However, I have found my creative outlet and I could not be happier, for it just makes me feel overjoyed that I can write and get published and appreciated, and also that this is something that drives me. I do paint at times, and love to dance and write lyrics as well, and take photographs and express myself in whatever way I can. I like the time and space to myself. There is loneliness, but you cannot have it every which way. I am now moving in a direction I can call my own. It is my time and my time has come.

I only wish that I could turn the clock back, that I had just put my foot down a bit earlier. However, the children are grown now and do not need me and I can delineate the limits where I will not be crossed. I cannot be pushed around anymore beyond what I think is okay with me. My advice to all youngsters who are too willing to please and listen to the call of responsibility and duty and work all the time; realize that you have only one life and you have to do the things that give you happiness in the time you have. This does not mean that you laze around (all the time that is) and say that this makes you happy. It does mean that you can dial that number and join that pottery class, or spend that extra hour learning how to style someone’s hair, or just go out and draw that bird sitting on the bough. Hold on to the moments and make them work for you. Do the things you want to do, other things just fall into place. That is the rationality behind creativity for me.



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