Last time I was here, I wrote that Creativity is an energy flow, very similar to anger. Anger is neither good or bad, right or wrong, although the actions that occur from it might be seen in that light. Anger is meant to give us the fuel to either stand and fight, or to flee when we are threatened. Like Creativity, it calls for action, movement, and the two are intrinsically entwined and necessary for continued life and development.
Anger gives us the necessary energy to remove ourselves from the threat, whatever that might be. But, (big but), there is always a choice. We can choose not just between fleeing or fighting, but between destructive or constructive action. That’s where Creativity enters in and becomes very important. Creativity is Intuition at work. Intuition is that rapid thought process of connections that allow us to find new and different solutions for dealing with whatever threat arises, be that another angry person, or simply a day filled with less than good outcomes.
We human beings are very fragile creatures but we do have finely tuned senses. Enhancing those senses can only be a plus while we move through the days of a rather short life span. Making Creativity a priority, a habit, does just that. It fine tunes those senses, accessing our intuitive skills and abilities, better preparing us for those threats that are bound to arise during our everyday experience.
I don’t know about you, but I would much prefer to find pleasure in daily moments rather than the ragged jagged edges of misdirected or unknown anger. Anger can be as much a habit as overeating and for some of the same reasons. A heavy carbohydrate diet can prevent movement: physical, mental, or emotional in kind. Lack of movement means lack of growth and change. Changes are threats to many of us. Such a diet might insure a lack of change, but it won’t stop the anger because it threatens our continued well-being. And round and round we go.
Creativity, on the other hand, invites change and further growth. I am not necessarily speaking of High Art here. I am speaking of a state of being and of mind. One that doesn’t happen by accident. It is chosen and requires commitment. I used to do a lot of gardening and although I didn’t necessarily enjoy the physical labor involved, I did find pleasure in the sense of accomplishment I found in that process. What’s more, as I weeded and hoed and turned soil, my mind was free to wonder and find bits of stories, images, and even solutions to everyday problems.
Actually, those early days in the garden were the impetus I found to the writing that I do. It started there while I was picking cucumbers and raspberries. I needed to do something with those pieces of story and all of those images. I found a peculiar rhythm in that hard physical labor, then coming inside to sit for a half hour with pen and paper. And that eventually resulted in setting up a room where I could try my hand at painting. Changes. Slow steady changes that seemed so natural, at the time.
That garden also gave birth to my Personal Mythology and what I came to define as My Secret Inner Garden. It also heralded the end of my marriage and far more changes, even threats, than I could have imagined. Does that mean that the garden was a bad thing? No. It was a very real metaphor for growth and change. It was a physical entity that taught me about seeds and small growing things that must follow their own path to whatever fruition awaits them. Just as I must do.
That does not mean I didn’t resent that particular piece of earth on many days. I did. But, taking a hoe to a patch of tomatoes was far less destructive than wielding it as a weapon against husband and children who were only finding their own path to fruition. That garden became a symbol for many of the changes I underwent and even the threats that I confronted. It was, and still remains, an incredibly creative tool.
The point here is that allowing ones anger to inform ones Creative Process can very well result in solutions that don’t have to destroy anything or anyone. The opposite is also true. Allowing ones Creative Process to inform ones anger can bring about changes that are healthy, imaginative, and natural. Either one has to be better than exhaustion created by a need to bury the anger until it explodes or implodes. Not a pretty picture.
But, it can’t happen, or begin, unless one chooses to do so. I was a city girl, born and bred. I didn’t choose that garden, but I did choose to be married to a man who wanted that as a priority in his life. As a good wife, I did choose to join in that activity, knowing I had a great deal to learn and worried that I would probably be a failure at it. I wasn’t. And I learned a great deal more than I could ever have imagined. I not only learned how to can tomatoes in various guises, how to make several varieties of pickles, and mastered a raspberry pie that is out of this world, but also learned much more about the person I could become and found the path to my own fruition.
Which means I was more than happy to trade in that hoe for paper and pen. We find and create our own individual paths. Our anger is an important element in that process. But never more important than our Creative endeavors. They walk hand in hand, informing one another, while allowing us to keep moving, creating the next moment and the one after that. As outlandish as this might sound, they together can create a genuine sense of happiness, if we let them. It really is a matter of choice.