Category Archives: Creativity

Moments of Quiet Satisfaction

I took time out one evening to “scratch an itch” and practice drawing. Two or three weeks before I picked a plant, an ordinary “weed”, from the driveway and put it in a vase of water, intending to try my hand at sketching it “soon”. By the time “soon” came, the leaves were slowly turning brown but the largest ones were green and the tiny flowers on top pinkish-purple, so the plant still served nicely as a model. I dug out my sketch pad and after some false starts, managed to make a decent (to me) representation of the plant.

Wanting to practice more, I burrowed around my tote box of art supplies and found the workbook for beginning artists. Using the sketches in the workbook for ideas, I drew some more. I practiced for maybe a half-hour to an hour. When it was time to put away the supplies, I was surprised at the sense of quiet satisfaction I experienced inside. It seemed to blanket my nerves in relaxation.

One Saturday not long after that, my mother and I had what I call a “packing party”. We gathered items we wanted to donate, and then packed them in boxes I’d collected previously. This was a little project we’d talked about doing for awhile, but never got around to it until that Saturday. As I sat there surveying the boxes packed and ready to go, I noticed that quiet sense of satisfaction flooding my soul once again.

I notice these moments came during times of outward focus–periods of creativity and working to benefit others.

In this year of so much upheaval, have you noticed any times of quiet satisfaction–times of relaxation for your nerves–and if so, when did they come?

P. Booher

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com

2 Comments

Filed under Country Ripples, Creativity

A Life-long Learner

group of people in a discussion

Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com

Years ago a family member said to me, “You just want to be a professional student!” He didn’t say it in a complimentary way.

While I have an idea why the person said that (getting a formal education costs a lot, and you can never be sure you’ll get a job that makes that education worthwhile) his statement still hurt my feelings. The person was right, though. I enjoy learning facts—can’t help it. When I was eight or nine years old I used to sit and leaf through a book from our big set of encyclopedias, or even get lost in the dictionary. Now I sit in front of a computer and take online courses in writing; I get lost on the internet reading articles on diverse subjects such as Niagara Falls, the story behind the 1997 movie “Titanic”, and service dogs. It’s all good, and it’s all fun for me. It makes the little gray cells in my brain jump up and down for joy.

My family member’s comment aside, writing and other activities in life show me it’s valuable to have the mindset of a “professional student”.  I need to be humble enough to be teachable. I need discipline to keep myself learning. I don’t think it’s possible to improve in writing, or in a lot of other endeavors, without that type of mindset.  I’ve found an unexpected benefit of such a mindset is it adds richness to life. You get to see how the process of learning affects you, you figure out ways to learn things you need to know that you may not be naturally proficient at, and you see how facts are intertwined.  Yes, being a professional student costs, but the rewards are without measure!

©P. Booher

 

2 Comments

Filed under Country Ripples, Creativity, Life Lessons, Writing

Lights, Camera, Action! Off to the Movies–Little Women

food snack popcorn movie theater

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

A couple friends and I saw Little Women, the latest movie adaptation of Louisa May Alcott’s book about the March sisters. I don’t go to the movies much, but wanted to get out of my routine, so when a friend suggested it, I jumped at the opportunity.

I never read the book, so the movie was my first acquaintance with spunky sisters Meg, Jo, Amy, and Beth March.

What did I think of it?

First off, I give Little Women an A++ for decency. There was not even a hint of sexual innuendo, which I greatly appreciated.

Secondly, the acting was good. The people portrayed seemed real, not characters in a movie. I cared about what happened to them.

The film shows people considering their beliefs and values, wrestling with consequences of their humanity, and making decisions and taking responsibility for their lives.

The movie did a good job of showing a writer’s life in following Jo’s setbacks and triumphs in her writing career. As a practicing writer, I identified with Jo in those scenes—her exhilaration when a story sells, her almost single-minded devotion to writing, and her frustration when writing dreams are threatened.

Set in the 1860’s, the film gave a view as to how people lived then—their customs, circumstances, concerns, and perspectives. It was a history lesson you got by osmosis.

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under Creativity, Lights, Camera, Action!

God, Calling, and Creativity

kaitlyn-baker-422999

Photo Credit: Kaitlyn Baker, Unsplash.com

 

photo of woman painting in brown wooden easel

Photo by Burst on Pexels.com

I believe God is the original Creator (see the Book of Genesis, Chapters 1 and 2). Those chapters vividly describe God’s creativity. I also believe God calls people to creative work, whether it be writing, painting, sculpting, gardening, architecture, finding better ways to solve problems, or any other way creativity displays itself. God is the Caller; we are the callees.

The following ideas are from thinking about The Soul Tells A Story:Engaging Creativity with Spirituality in the Writing Life by Vinita Hampton Wright.

  1. You can fulfill your calling from God in a variety of ways, depending on your situation and the time you have available in any one day. There’s flexibility. A calling never ends. You may do one kind of creativity for awhile, then start another, but it still falls under your calling.
  2. No one else can (or should) judge how you go about fulfilling your calling. That’s between you and God. Any person who does judge has no qualification to do so.
  3. Calling isn’t necessarily something you do for money. It might be, but often it is not. Calling goes “deeper” than work. It is in who you are and what you are gifted (in reality, created) to do. Calling makes God and you happy, and you aren’t happy until you are in some way fulfilling that calling.

 

©P. Booher

 

4 Comments

Filed under Country Ripples, Creativity, Faith Matters, Writing

Dueling Forces–Creativity and Its Enemies

micaela-parente-YGgKE6aHaUw-unsplash

Photo Credit: Micaela Parente on Unsplash.com

The more time I give to writing, the more I realize my creativity has “enemies”–things that can sap my creativity if I let them. Some are external, some internal; some are physical, mental, or emotional, but I need to be aware they can appear, and be prepared to deal with them.

“Enemies” of creativity:

  1. Tv shows which have violent, sexual, or just plain stupid content. That mental garbage stays in my mind too long.
  2. News programs–while most end with a positive, heartwarming story, 98% of the coverage is negative. I can’t do anything about the bad stuff. I can easily slide into despair, and that sabotages my creativity.
  3. Workplace gossip and drama. Again, it’s negative, not anything I can do about, and provokes anxiety.
  4. Physical aches and pains–if they are bad enough to be all-consuming. Normally, focusing on writing pushes whatever pain I may have away. I don’t have any pain. But if the pain is severe enough, it’s all I notice, and I have a real battle on my hands to do anything that is the least bit creative.
  5. Perfectionism–a “natural” enemy of creativity, because perfectionism demands perfection, and creativity can’t be forced into the confines of perfection. Creativity requires a sense of freedom, and perfectionism and that sense of freedom are at odds.
  6. Depression–another “natural” enemy of creativity. Depression sometimes comes as a result of physical pain.
  7. Low self-esteem–no surprise, because if you think lowly of yourself, you’ll feel as though you don’t have anything inside you to create with.
  8. Little self-care–this goes along with depression; low self-esteem, and perfectionism (perfectionists are often unrealistically hard on themselves and don’t allow themselves to get the support they need, whether that’s a massage or making a needed doctor’s visit, or whatever).
  9. Clutter–whether it’s physical clutter like papers all over the desk, dust bunnies in plain sight (not even hiding under the bed), or mental clutter such as bitterness, un-forgiveness, resentment, or a tightly-scheduled to-do-list, clutter can be highly detrimental to creativity.
  10. Giving too much weight to other people’s negative opinions of your creative expression. Years ago, a family member told me that “I’d never make any money writing”. I allowed that to squelch my desire to write for a long time. (BTW: that person was wrong; I’ve already made a little bit of money writing. I’ve also received much joy.)

I’ve been thinking of ways to fight these enemies. Creativity means too much to give up without a fight.

©P. Booher

 

 

 

2 Comments

Filed under Creativity, Life Issues, Writing