You know them. You’ve seen them. And sometimes you’ve even been annoyed by them, those kids with their hands up the whole class, whether it’s in kindergarten, grade school, university or writing classes.
They like to talk, to share ideas, sometimes to excess. And they often seem to have new ways of thinking or feeling or just being.
I love to “collect” friends who might be described in these ways. Do you? Or maybe you’re one of them.
Here’s a list of questions you might ask yourself in order to find the truth:
Do you choose to talk to the speaker after an event to ask significant questions and maybe learn more? (What is the most important catalyst to your writing?)
Are you the person who, though shy, hangs around the edges of conversation among those you don’t really dare to approach? In Dunkin’ Donuts or Tim Horton’s?
Do you find yourself listening to the phrases and the unique cadences of people’s speech? On the bus, in the theater, or at your daughter’s baseball game? Have you even been called out for such behavior?
Do you substitute words in this oft touted line from Kipling’s If? “If you can keep your head when all about you/ Are losing theirs and blaming it on you” might become “If you can type your lines when all about you/ Are flubbing theirs and glaring hard at you”. (You’ll become a writer, my friend.)
Do you describe certain friends in this way? “I love her because she dares to be different, to be herself.” The particular friend I mention here is my musician friend who always finds the interesting–dare I say creative?–way to accompany her soloists, all the while making them (me, sometimes) feel that they are fabulous if not the best. And yet I’ve sometimes heard little digs because she is not a clone of every other person in the room. She opens each day of her life like a precious gift; I treasure that beautiful curiosity in her.
Have you ever read your words over and over, struggling for just the right effect, the exciting hint of an idea, the rippling, tippling of word pictures in perfect combination, and on finding it does your whole being sit higher in the chair?
Have you spent time talking to a child? I’m always interested to hear and see their views on the world around them. My daughter once told me she was a little afraid to step on the dark flooring at the bottom of our stairs because she imagined some horrid monster lived in that black sea. For years she would grab the banister and swing around so that her feet landed on the carpet. She was always coming out with such tales; I ought to have kept a list.
These are just a few hints to the creative personalities around us all. The older I get the more entranced I am by individuality of expression, whichever of the arts it chooses for its performance. Last weekend I finally saw Kinky Boots, that raucous, hilarious, yet curiously touching musical on for just a few more performances at the Royal Alex in Toronto. The shining star is a flamboyantly dressed transvestite who basically changes his world and the world of those around him. Talk about daring to be different.
I was curious to see how the young owner of an out-of-date shoe factory could catch the kinky boots flavor and turn his factory (and his life) on its ear. With stunning, up-tempo music and fabulous costumes this show did just that. The actors and creators behind the scene imagined such a remarkable spectacle that, in the final number, I wanted to run up on stage and just dance with them all. Can you imagine the creativity with all of those people in a room together?
To keep this post from running as long as War and Peace, I’ve just given a soupcon about the curious nature of creativity. One final word: Hallelujah! Oh, and when I wish upon a star, I wish for stories and imagination and curiosity.
Elaine Cougler’s website: www.elainecougler.com
Make this author happy.