***The following is an essay that was originally published here in January.***
What is it about creativity? The spark of an idea? The thrill of something new coming from you? Growing in you? Much like a pregnancy of an idea. Birthing a project. Your Baby. The NEED to share some part of yourself, your soul, with the rest of the world. Maybe a need for acknowledgement or appreciation as well.
Most of our lives seem to be spent learning about the world around us. Naming things. Discovering how things work. Exploring the vast unknown. Then finally, hopefully, finding our place in that world. That we can “see” something that doesn’t yet exist in the physical world in our imagination and then turn it into a reality astounds me.
To create with words is no less amazing to me. Writers and poets create characters, other people, out of nothing more than thin air and ideas. People we end up caring about; loving and hating. People with complex lives; families, histories, stories of their own to tell.
I have found recently that as thrilling as it is to have the spark of a creative idea burning brightly in your brain, it is almost equally as fantastic to be able to help that spark exist in someone else. To get an idea that relates to another artist’s work and pass it off to them; watching it take root is wondrous. To see that flame in their eyes and know you helped put it there is a special gift.
I am fortunate in so many ways. I create things physically in the form of color and yarn. I dye yarn and allow the colors to speak for me. They convey emotions, attitudes, stories of people and places. I also knit and transform that yarn once again into a thing of beauty and purpose. I am also gifted–and I mean this literally as in having been given a gift that I am fortunate to possess–with the ability to create little poems. Taking an idea and expressing it in such a way as to have other people feel something or understand something they might not have otherwise.
Beyond my personal abilities to create I have found another joy. That ability to help a fellow artist create. To see someone else’s work clearly enough; to understand the characters they have created, to see the next step for their work and be able to share this vision of their work with them in a coherent manner is a new experience for me. Watching that spark that first spontaneously combusted somewhere in my mind’s eye flash and burn even more brightly in their eyes is truly magical. Now, I get to fan the flames and encourage them along in their progress, happy to have been a part of the magic they create.