In recent months several friends of mine have discovered they are creatives. These are women 50 and older who were a little dejected, a bit unfulfilled with the present, and each began a project. One involved scrapbooking with old bits of fabric that carried fond memories, the other worked on painting skills to illustrate a family story book. They were transformed by these experiences and began to approach work, life, time and space with new eyes. They had a new way of looking at the world.
I was raised by a fearless creative. My mother would try any art form—oil painting, stitchery, collage, mixed media, anything—and I never recall her worrying or being fearful that she would not be good at it. She just thought creativity was fun. She was not brought up this way. As the dirt-poor daughter of a hell-fire-and-damnation Baptist minister, she was not taught to find joy in creativity. It was just in her. Or, like my other friends, she looked inside and found it.
My own creativity is less tactile than my mother’s or my friends. As a child I found creativity in singing, dancing and acting, then as I grew older, increasingly in writing. When I am writing there is no linear time, there are no boundaries. These are the most liberating moments of my day. And if I don’t write, like my friends, I feel a little dejected, a bit unfulfilled. I wrote CeeGee’s Giftover many years, but the final manuscript was written during a tense time in America, a time of hate and despair. While writing, I did not have to live in that time. I was with a magical young girl, and a dear old man, in a town where people were kind and time stood still. Perhaps this ability to enter other places and spaces is why we must create. What drives your creativity?