What am I doing to live a creative life today?

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Photos from Moffett Field, near San Jose. This structure was a big part of the the things I saw growing up in the Silicon Valley area. It was a 1930s era Hanger One, Moffett Field It was going to be torn down, but now will be restored (I think, you can look it up, my fingers are tired). It is one of the world’s largest free-standing structures, and sure captured my imagination when I was younger. If I had an easier time in math and science classes I probably would have wanted to work here. I was on a photo shoot at the NASA Ames research campus, more on that at a later date, but it was sooooo coool. I love science!

The other day a friend asked me what I am doing to live a creative life, today. At first I thought he meant had I taken any photographs, looked at art, listened with intent to music, read something meaningful or something like that. As the conversation progressed it became clear that is not how he meant it. Living a creative life is not about making something in particular, it is about allowing your live to be open to novel and interesting situations, being free to go with the universe, just let it be and experience the beauty and joy of life. That is creativity.

We find the connections in this free form, present living, and by giving myself the opportunity to just be, not worry if a particular moment is being used productively, I am able to calm the racing thoughts of what I think I should be doing, and let myself find what I need to be doing.

Or to borrow the cliche phrase, it is not the destination but the journey. Stop focusing on the end result, allow yourself to focus on the journey, and as a result of the journey you will get to where you need to be.

Creativity works when you are open to novel experiences, situations and people, this opens up an whole new world of connections that you would never have known, and now have this beautiful palate to work with on the canvas of life. The trick is to having these organic experiences, you can try and create them a variety of ways, but, for me at least, the best way is to allow them. I can’t control the world, but I can control how I live in it. If you are not having these creative experiences you will not be open to the solution to life’s problems, or that impossible project or idea you want to undertake. In the past I have been stuck in the same place regarding creativity, I could make photographs when I needed, and some were quite good, but the ideas did not flow as they should and I think this was due to me editing my life too harshly. I did not take chances and as a result kept doing the same thing over and over.

This reminds me of what my photo teacher at John Gray always used to say “Comfort is your enemy” Being comfortable means you are not growing, you might be happy, secure and safe (all perfectly good ways of being), but you are not learning, you are not open to the world and all it has to offer.

Does not always work, sometimes the crazy idea you decide to follow ends up terribly, but now you know that did not work, and have a new opportunity to try something else.

It is fun to try new things, just like being a kid again, everything was new then. We could play for hours with spoons and pots and pans and make an empire, or build whole cities or castles out of sand.

It works for me sometimes better than others, and progress is small, but real growth comes in small incremental steps. I hope you will come on this journey with me.

3 Comments

  1. It was in my “neighborhood” when I was growing up in Atherton. It was certainly impressive but what interested me most at the time (and don’t know if it was true) that the building had such a large open space within it that it generated its own weather (I.e. indoor rainfall). That got my attention. Lot’s of things to prompt and nurture creative thinking on the Peninsula!

    Cold and cloudy back here in NH but I loved every minute of the California trip. It was great to see all of this year’s creative thinkers graduate!

    Sent from my iPhone

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  2. Definitely good thoughts – for me, I am trying to live a learningful life and get back to what feels like being normal again. Normal may sound boring but when you’re knocked off base by brain damage you want to fight hard just to get to “ok”. Love to you and all the family- maybe we could do a phone call some evening. Tell Ana I am thinking of her and all of you.

    Andrea in Wolfeboro

    Sent from my iPhone

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