January 7, 2009

Inspiring Creativity

I'm feeling a bit of creative drag these days. Maybe it's because I am immersing myself more in the dissertation, maybe I'm just tired after the holiday hoopla - either way, I'm not really feeling it very much right now. But it amazes me how different my fount of creativity is from Lara's - how for her, there is no need to define a motive for making beyond what strikes the fancy at any given moment.

Painting with Lara

I love learning through her the evolution of our most basic drives. The need to make seems completely universal. It is fascinating that it is such a primal drive, that it is in fact not necessity that is the mother of invention as the proverb would have it, but that instead invention precedes need, purpose, goal, and exists most primordially as a force that propels play and exploration. "Mommy, see what I made?" Lara asks frequently, holding up with equal pride a couple of stuck together legos, some complex project from daycare, a toy arrangement, or pointing to one of her artworks that we hung on the wall. Yes, my love, I do see what you made. And I know exactly the deeply warm satisfaction of looking at it that you feel - after all, isn't that what this blog is, me asking all of you to "see what I made"? I am so happy you already get to have that feeling.

January 7 - 1

From the first, creativity is also interpretation. "I'm a Mummer too! Now I'm going to dance," accompanied this ensemble during the parade on New Year's Day when it was too cold to see the regalia'ed men in person and we instead happily watched it on TV. Headband, sash, bracelet, sometimes a cape, sometimes fancy shoes - creative recasting of the self into ephemeral roles without purpose or order, just as a way to try the whims of the imagination on for size.

I wonder if that kind of creativity can be recaptured or approximated. I'm not sure I could do it. You?