InnerNet Weekly: Everyday Creativity

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InnerNet Weekly: Inspirations from
Everyday Creativity
by Ruth Richards

[Listen to Audio!]

778.jpgI’m rather good at maps. I’m also good at using a GPS device. But I forgot the maps and here we were, late afternoon, last day of vacation, my daughter my cousin and I, driving along a two-lane highway in midstate Oregon. No other car in sight, and the sun had just gone down. Where was that charming little village? It was supposed to be right along this river. We drove on, farther and farther into the unknown, river always at left as our guide. We kept passing farms and fields and scattered houses and now a few lights were coming out. In my head, I was doing a litany of self-criticism: Why didn’t we start earlier, leave more time, have lunch sooner, save dessert for the little town, bring the map, and on and on and on, a list of all we did wrong — reliving it as if that could help us now. My cousin and I were

both impatient and stressed. My daughter, at least, was happy in the back seat, text messaging a friend. I pull up on the shoulder of the road to think.

Just then — WOW! Amazing! A new scene had appeared. A new slide projected on a screen. Where did it come from?

Look! LOOK! I insisted. Even my daughter looked up. Right there, out of nowhere: a magical misty landscape. Fields moving off to infinity in muted purples and pastels, fuzzy in the haze, with clusters of tall lush tress, darkening and receding in the dusk. I turned the car engine off. All was silent in the hot summer air. Beside
us a plum-colored river barely moved between a border of trees, its dark lazy water reflecting the last light of day.

How breathtaking! This landscape had cast a spell. We sat in the silence of an indrawn breath. Where had it been? If I had seen even a trace of this beauty while driving along, not a neuron had registered it, no mental bell had rung so that the conscious mind could stop and take a look. I had missed it all. We had all missed it.

We miss a lot, almost everything, in fact, in our world. Our task-focused filters take care of that, selecting only what we need. We need to get to work. Have some lunch. Find that report. Water the garden. Go out on a date. We see what we need to see, often for purposes of survival — or survival of the species. Gregory Bateson, speaking of beauty, said aesthetic judgment is selection of a fact. We create the sight even as we become conscious of it. We do not simply see it. In our daily lives, who or what is doing the selecting? And why? Is this predetermined? Can we — in the here and now – make a change? Can we see further? Can we see better? Can we even better our world?

Opening our vision is a first step in Everyday Creativity.

–Ruth Richards, in Everyday Creativity

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Everyday Creativity
Marta wrote: It seems as if we can look at every moment in life as a miracle waiting to be discovered. Your intuition to stop. The silence of the night. The awareness of the stunning scene. All added up to t…
Dave Doane wrote: I believe the most significant factor in being creative is being present, and our task focus and goal directedness get in the way of being present. When creativity appears to come out of task fo…
Edit Lak wrote: Ahh. The beauty and mysteries to life – our life – and the lives of everything and ‘All’ around us.. If we tap into the reality of life ‘naturally’ to t…
Derek wrote: What strikes me most of this passage is how sometimes we must surrender to life. That we might be drawn off course from our path at times. We may not understand why.. but we need to have f…
conrad wrote: Thanks for the article and the opportunity to respond. I have some difficulty with the words deeper and shallower. "Different" is easier for me to notice. For 30 some years, I was a Roman …
Ricky wrote: There is no better way to move through the day than to be purposeful. When we label frustration for a delay or an inconvenience, and close ourselves in, we miss out on the ebb and flow of …
Ganoba wrote: i have two reflections:1 about getting lost, and2 about survival.We are liable to be lost if our reference point is not in the present, if it is else where in time (usually past) or in space. Th…
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