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Wednesday, September 7, 2016

The Child Within

Wild Mind

Creativity is a wild mind and a disciplined eye.”
Dorothy Parker

The cake that my friends, Suzan Blackshear and Ann Wade, made for my birthday was a masterpiece of creativity. First of all, it was a delicious carrot cake with cream cheese icing. And, secondly, they showed my whole life on it. There were little buildings representing Old Crazy Town where I grew up, a man on a massage table, my porch with wine and cheese, the shipping boxes and bubble wrap that are a ubiquitous reminder of what I do now. The dogs were all there, including Liza (with hardly any legs), the blue-roof church that I was a member of for 30 years, all my paints and brushes, books, Fast Eddie, my daddy's old truck, and a sewing machine with a quilt and an ironing board. It was simply an amazing feat of creativity that took them several planning sessions and sixteen hours of construction. Now that's an example of a wild mind attached to a disciplined eye.

Creativity is nothing more that allowing the child within you to come out to play. You have to get your grown-up head out of the way, and allow that wild youngster to take over. You can't worry about whether you make a mess—you will—and you can't let perfectionism get mixed up in it, or it will ruin everything. It's a matter of letting the child-mind rule, and using the adult skills to guide it. One of the nicest things about being semi-retired is having time to play creatively.

When I left the lake on Monday, Ann and Ellen, were deep into painting the floor of a screened-in-porch. The center was the gorgeous blue-green of the lake, with mahogany and green borders, and dozens of fish stenciled in schools in the center and fish bones along the edges. Creativity brings wild-mind up to the surface and gives it permission to run free. None of these women claims to be an artist—they just love to create, whether it's a crazy cake, or an imaginative fish-floor. They are neither nimble, nor young, but they have not allowed the child within them to die.

I hope you have opportunity to engage your wild mind today. Letting that child out to play now and then will make the adult-you so much happier and more productive.

In the Spirit,

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