Bird Droppings August 7, 2011
Imagination a key to another level of thought
“You can take a course in child development and think you’re prepared for parenthood, but until you have a child of your own, what you’ve been taught doesn’t mean a thing to you. So it come to our old teaching: Never claim to know anything until you have experienced it yourself.” Bear Heart, last trained medicine man of Muskgogee Creek Nation
When I left the house and drove to school to open for anyone who might be cleaning in their rooms today getting ready for school to start I recalled many memories of a long while back. I recall being asked or I should say invited to participate in the Green Corn dance and medicine of the Muskgogee in 1972 or so. I was very skeptical in those days and as I drove the the five miles or so to school my thoughts shifted to my own evolution of thought and imagination that has taken place over the years. I wondered for a second and what if I could just have gone in a straight line to where I am instead of all the crooked lines and scribbles that have occurred. What if I could imagine myself there and I was there. Sort of slipping in the deep end here today but it is interesting what elicits imagination.
“You have read a lot of books. But it is someone else’s thoughts and experiences in those books. To you it is hearsay, because you haven’t experienced it. You don’t know it; you only know something about it.” Bear Heart, last trained medicine man of Muskgogee Creek Nation
“I like to let my thoughts come to me each morning before I get up. I meditate for a few hours and that is like recharging.” Dalai Lama
I was asked more than once about writing Bird Droppings at 2:30 in the morning and my response was similar it is a time to reflect to rethink to ponder to recharge for the day. As I look out at where I am to go that day I can in my own way through writing meditate stabilize and go forth. Even today as I am a bit lazier getting sorted out from a summer routine of staying up later and getting up later I still am up and moving in the dark of the morning.
”Add magic to ordinary moments, because our society works to educate the wonder out of children.” Mimi Doe
“Creative minds have always been known to survive any kind of bad training.” Anna Freud
“Most people die before they are fully born. Creativeness means to be born before one dies.” Erich Fromm
A number of years ago my youngest son was tested for creativity. The test was given and scored and he was off the charts. I might contest that score with his escapade of his a few years back. Out of the blue he decided to walk from our house to meet me at school. He chose a back route with no stores or stops of any sort. The record for heat was broken for our county about the time he was walking at over 103 degrees. Needless to say he called for a ride from a cousin about half way along wringing wet from sweat.
I have always watched for sparks of imagination in people not because it intrigues me but because then you can truly tell a person is alive. Within a high school the students have a term used extensively to describe some people POSERS. They want to be like a particular group yet are not so they pose. I am always attracted to the fringe people who are original and creative and use their imagination posers let others do it for them.
I recall an incident several years ago with a wagon. It was a red child’s wagon and two high school girls who were taking turns pulling each other around from class to class. Something about one or the other was hurt; anyhow administration after laughing heartily said no more wagons. But the sight of two high school girls pulling each other in a wagon was hilarious and creative. A few weeks later one of the girls colored her hair normal and cut off extensions and whatever else was involved and she didn’t like being normal it only lasted a few days. I quickly took a picture knowing it would not last, and I have that one on my wall of fame in my room still nearly nine years later.
“Because of their courage, their lack of fear, they (creative people) are willing to make silly mistakes. The truly creative person is one who can think crazy; such a person knows full well that many of his great ideas will prove to be worthless. The creative person is flexible — he is able to change as the situation changes, to break habits, to face indecision and changes in conditions without undue stress. He is not threatened by the unexpected as rigid, inflexible people are.” Frank Goble
“The things we fear most in organizations — fluctuations, disturbances, imbalances — are the primary sources of creativity.” Margaret J. Wheatley
Going against the flow rising above the waves that is where creative people float along sometimes an idea swill change the flow of a stream of thought or stem the tide. Sometimes it will simply wash away with so many other imaginative thoughts. Thomas Edison spent a lifetime being creative it has been said over 10,000 light bulbs lay in a pile in his lab that did not work. Most men would have quit at 99 or a much less smaller number.
“The person who can combine frames of reference and draw connections between ostensibly unrelated points of view is likely to be the one who makes the creative breakthrough.” Denise Shekerjam
I sit here thinking back to the second quote and how in education we want standardization for ease of testing and measurement for the sake of the general good. We tend to eliminate and subjugate creativity in children and place it away for the consistency needed to teach a room full of children. My youngest son was working on a poetry paper many nights ago and on interpreting the poems of a poet. Many times he seemed close as he dug into the poem. We so often see creativity as an exercise in creating. It can take form in art or writing and as in the wagon and the girls dress and ideas even humor.
“An original is a creation motivated by desire. Any reproduction of an originals motivated be necessity. It is marvelous that we are the only species that creates gratuitous forms. To create is divine, to reproduce is human.” Man Ray
Mankind creates gratuitously, I like that thought. The difference between man and animals is creativity. Simply copying another act is not enough it is the unique act that is creativity, and in there as well spontaneity. Interestingly enough animals do have some creativity it is within recorded time and actually a specific date that the snow monkeys in Japan started swimming in the heated pools around their mountain home. Monkeys are traditionally afraid of water. Until one day a young monkey took a spill into the heated water and found it was significantly warmer than the freezing air around and stayed in. Very soon momma monkey came in after and soon generations later all the snow monkeys now swim in the heated pools. Creativity is like one day unique and common place and copied, but it was once special.
“Creativity represents a miraculous coming together of the uninhibited energy of the child with its apparent opposite and enemy-the sense of order imposed on the disciplined adult intelligence.” Norman Podhoretz
Watch a child play with Lego and their imagination will run wild several blocks become nearly anything but when many adults pick up a Lego block it is simply a block. We need to be so careful to not shut down creativity, to nourish it, embrace it, and let it grow. Each moment we are taking away ideas by suppressing creative thought. So share ideas and seek ideas and be creative as you go out today. Sharing some herbs with a friend today some Sweet basil, Purple ruffles basil, English thyme, Common Sage, St. John’s Wort and Purple cone flowers all plants I started from seeds or cuttings along the way. It is a great feeling to pass along to others. Recharge and get fired up to face this weekend ahead. Please however keep all in harm’s way on your mind and in your hearts.