Tuesday, September 1, 2015

What is Creativity - 16

I wrote a few weeks ago about reading as a creative act. By implication I'd written something similar about the audience for the David Hare play.

I've been wondering recently whether creativity is necessarily a shared activity. Or, perhaps, another way of bonding.

One of my short stories won an award in the 2012 Porter Fleming Literary Competition. The judge commented that we tend to idealize our pretty small towns, without acknowledging the tragedies that lay underneath. That she understood what I was saying in that story meant more than the money I received. I'm a reader for prose submitted to Minerva Rising for its next edition. One of the submissions is so gorgeous I want to know the author. After the journal is in print, I intend to find her. I want to see if she's giving workshops anywhere that I could attend. I'm not alone - I've connected with someone else as a writer, and as a reader.

Okay, but what about creativity that isn't related to the arts? I and a friend, now deceased, became closer as we discovered how similar we were in many ways. We still used the same cookbook published in the 50s; we both cooked from scratch, except for the same muffin mix. We each had what we called a "grapefruit knife," acquired decades before when detergent boxes often included a prize (like the prizes in a box of Cracker Jack). No better tool for peeling or segmenting citrus, or for melons, than that knife. What a great invention. I still use my knife several times a week, never without remembering my friend. I somehow came into possession of a fork that I never use without a recognition of both its practical design and its connection to some unknown ancestor in the 19th century.

We know how necessary bonding is to an infant's physical and emotional well-being. How desirable parental bonding and social bonding are for the health of children and communities. Is the creative drive a way of bonding beyond the community? Beyond time?

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