Meagerness through idleness is the downfall of the week and the idolatry of slothful. Whereas, testing the constraints of simplicity and the convergences of trivial observation can be transformed into a task of simple beauty. -Middle Aged HS Teacher
Two years ago, I found myself, and my family, traveling to the beach. The ten plus hours car ride would give me an opportunity to slake my boredom with some combination of intrigue and ephemeral oddity. I had no educational requirements at the time and my stack of personal readings had dwindled. Therefore, I began to wonder what could I do with my time.
I wanted to build a widget. Now, mind you, I have no formal training in computer coding and my training for design is simply, “how do you do…” in a Googled search. So, I spent my time looking at what others had made, downloaded two different widget builders (UCCW and Zooper Widget), and began to build. This is creativity. Finding in ones self the ability to simultaneously both embellish and entertain while developing something that has “personal value.” Creativity is not simply the creation of things. To simplify the process into just things is to belittle the process of creation into a materialistic journey. Einstein, Bohr, Calvin, Wesley, Chesterton, all were creators even though their major works were never tangible becoming a combination of theory this and religious thought that. Yet, these men wee truly creative and exploratory in their time.
For these greats and myself, it is the imitation and creation of something greater than the whole that drives the cause of creation. An exploration of possibility is in and of itself the necessity of creativity. Of course the process of creativity is more complex than just derision and is built on the important moments of choice. Who is this really being made for? What kind of style should I imitate? How long should this be a part of the larger greater good or should it even be exported to the masses at all? Da Vinci had copious amounts of notebooks about drawings and theories that were never really fleshed out into the greater world but may have been dabbled with throughout his career. Calvin remained a part of the larger Catholic church ruminating on the existence of Irrefutable Grace and Unconditional Election before choosing to break away not just for the redemption of himself but for the explanation of redemption and grace; thus, creating the base for the the Reformed Theology of today. Choice is the main factor of the process as a whole. Choosing to explore the idea at all or responding to the choices made as they seem out of sync compared to the ideals imagined or constraining the project.
Surprisingly creativity can be found just about anywhere and at multiple levels. Look at the diversity of movie. Recently I watched the movies Surf’s Up and Flight. Both of which were not really on my list of need or want to see but by dumb luck I was able to watch both. In Surf’s Up, we see an exchange were the main character Cody is trying to create his own surf board from a single tree trunk. Cody has to chose what his board will be and the process creation is being revealed to children at their level. In this exchange, choice is keenly tied to creativity and personal expression. Cody wants to be what his idol is and has been, an amazing surfer. Cody’s process of exploration is completely dependent and directed by his idol/teacher. Therefore, children see the process of creativity as having external affects on the internal vision of the individual.
Whereas, in Flight, creativity is questioned because of the person and moral apathy of Captain Whip Whitaker. He is a completely self-consumed alcoholic and everybody around him knows it. Even in the midst of his unquestionable heroic and inventive act, he saves the lives of almost all aboard the plane he was piloting, the integrity of the moment is question because he was drunk. Upon reflection, his maneuver in saving the plane is described by him as being a moment of instinct to the point that he can not explain directly why he was able to complete the fete. In addition, no one else can replicate his wondrous ability. The sadness and unexplained miracle is completely overwhelmed by the fact that he can’t function without the addiction. This forces the viewer into a dangerous place of additional questionable acceptance, are the director and screenwriters directly telling the audience that creativity is a co-dependence of the creator on external forces, even if it is an over powering addiction.
Of course, the answer will always be, YES!