What Creativity Is (Maybe)
I'm so glad that my question sparked this piece! Lovely read. "I wanted to say more, wanted to make sure people got it, and was afraid of saying too little. Sometimes simplicity is misunderstood." YES. This is me, with poetry especially. Here's my unedited piece. I was going to add a stanza and change things around, but you inspired me to share as-is! Thanks for another great read and prompt.
Already a Memory
I keep snapping pictures
trying to freeze the time
but it doesn’t work
so I’m left empty-handed
caught somewhere between the last moment
and the next
with tears in my eyes
as your dad waltzes you thru the halls
singing “Isn’t She Lovely?”
and visions of your future wedding day
flash through my mind
“yes, she is” I say
when he passes you off to me in the rocking chair
and I nurse you to sleep
touching your cheek
for tonight, at least
your fingers wrap around mine
and in this moment
we can almost stop time
When artists draw loosely in their sketchbooks, free of concern about viewers, their work is often truer and more expressive than their future canvases. When we let the thought of an audience intrude on our creative work, we interrupt the flow with worry, self-doubt, or just plain ego. We end up tinkering, adjusting, until sometimes it unspools into a mass of paralysis from over analysis. Thanks for reminding me, Jeff, to trust my initial creative expression more.
Jeff, this is great. So true. I often find there’s a point where I feel done. Sometimes that’s because of the pressing deadline. Other times because I’ve worked it over to the point I can’t see how to work it any longer. But if I come back to it later, I can usually see something I might still tweak. Best to leave it alone and walk away.
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This was not my intention when I opened my eyes this morning. It is September 2nd, 2015. I have no clue where this is leading me but felt compelled to write. Dr. Wayne Dyer has just passed on to the other plane. I woke up and watched his movie 'The Shift' it moved me deeply! I sat in my bed with a crumpled-up napkin wiping the tears from my eyes. Just a few moments before I hit 'play' on my mobile device, I was in despair. I have been in despair for a long time, probably 3 years. I don't want to hurt anymore. I have been heading towards this path for some time, not knowing where the destination is, and now no longer caring. The journey is what I seek. I think all of us wonder what our purpose is. I still don't know mine but perhaps in writing this piece, I will stumble upon it. I hope to not seek my purpose through another; I believe it’s bigger than that. I went looking for a book of Wayne Dyer's that I saw just the other day on my bookcase. It isn't there anymore.
Thought-provoking piece, Jeff. Thanks! I give a lot of thought to the source of creativity - where do ideas and those flashes of creative inspiration originate. The older I get, the more I just accept that they come from an infinite plane of intelligence that we are able to tap into through the medium of consciousness. I'm comfortable with using the name God.
Thank you for What Creativity is (Maybe) and the invitation to write.
I was writing an journal entry about an epiphany I'd had. It was rather cathartic and I was having a hard time writing it. When I finally finished, this poem flowed out of me. I made a few word edits.. and this is what I call the short version of my story.
The sky within me…
Expands and contracts
I am learning to live more deeply in the spaces in between
In between the dark and light
In between the sky and sea
In between illuminations
In between loves’ visits
The space between is my own frontier
Full of discovery and mystery
Full of harmony and war
Full of questions, some without answers
Fat with peace and pain.
My breath takes me deep
The wonder takes me deeper
Sometimes I float in these spaces
sc Aug 2023
I’d like to share this with all the authors I work with. I am an editor of nonfiction books, and I find there’s always a time when I have to say to authors - especially first timers - “it is done; save something for the next book.” Your lines about making sure the reader understands are spot on... we all have that fear that they won’t get it the way we intend it. But I find more often than not, fewer words means greater impact. Let your reader work a bit, too.
I really enjoyed this post. Especially the line about a third draft of the poem existing in the ether. Sometimes I like to think our art (stories, music) exists out there in the ether and its our responsibility as artists to act as receivers of some sort and translate them so others can enjoy.
Thank you so much for this 🙏🏻
I wrote this poem intuitively, just letting creativity flow:
The call of the ocean 🌊
Just be there, on the shore,
just be and listen to the waves.
Listen to what the ocean has to say.
Be there for you, for the ocean, and listen to the call of your soul.
Listen to the waves,
listen to what you need to know.
The ocean speaks to your soul,
listen what the waves of the soul have to say,
what the soul of the ocean wants you to know.
Spread these waves,
your waves of the soul.
Spread the soul of the ocean and send it to the shore so that it can be heard again.
I like the honesty that flowed out of your fingers into the keyboard; that it felt a little rough around the edges. What I got out of it is that Art is a verb as much as a noun. Thank you. That’s a profound learning.
I loved so much of this post. Thank you for sharing it.... It was a medicine, whether raw or slightly edited.
Here's a bit of my own writing:
"What happens to grief once the sadness doesn't feel so sad? When you emerge from the underworld of this raw overwhelming experience. When death isn't so intense and loss isn't so grand and divorce no longer feels like an end but a beginning. What happens to grief then? Does it become less sacred because now you're not as sad anymore? Is it no longer remembered if you've gotten over it?
And more importantly, what if it never goes away?
Whether it comes or it goes, im afraid
I'm hesitant of change
It won't always be the same
And the unknown
I’ve been drafting stories in pen and ink, word sketches of the scenes in my head. Complicated to share, thanks to wandering handwriting and a hapless way of interrupting myself with insertions, but delicious to create. I’ve been using a gel pen that has a little scratch to it, but may need to purchase a fountain pen to capture these scenes. Flowing ink onto a page f e e l s as much like creating art as the words that birth stories. I love how a loved one’s handwriting is as recognizable as a smile.
Thanks for sharing Jeff. I always enjoy your writing and this was an interesting glimpse into how you think about it.
I have notebooks and documents full of poems I never "finished" or published anywhere. I'm thinking now I should revisit them and see if there's not some gold in the rawness of those moments.
I liked this post quite a bit, Jeff.
I appreciate it as a reader and as a writer. It felt honest, fresh and yet somehow familiar. And it was familiar because I've been there and will probably go again many many more times. Thank you for sharing.
So there's this poem I wrote and I've already revised it while writing so this is not the original piece but it's close to what was in the beginning so yeah lemme know what you think
Such is life.
Oh that beauty
It’s gonna vanish someday
But don’t worry about it my dear because
Oh you love so much
Oh you admire so much
But in the end you just go.
We have this life to give out love
Because love is the only thing worth giving
Oh dear give out so much
Cuz you never know
Who’s Time is near
Don’t be sad that everything might come to an end someday
Cry and laugh and sing and dance cuz it might come to an end someday
The wind blowing
The pretty sky
The person you love
Oh Admire them all
Oh Love them all
Love them so much that you don’t regret when you are Gone
Cuz that is gonna happen someday
Cuz it’s life
And as they say