You can’t use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have. – Maya Angelou
And since creativity is still the most effective way for me to access wonder, I choose it.” – Elizabeth Gilbert
I don’t go out into the back yard much, now that our Spring break visit with grand-puppy Bear is over. We used to get up early in the morning for Bear to do his business. I would be barely awake, hair all askew, with a shawl wrapped around me, while Bear sniffed his way across the yard and flower beds for that perfect place to make his deposit.
It was a wonderful way to start the morning. The dew was still fresh on the grass. The birds flitted peacefully around the feeder, accepting of my presence, as long as Bear was far away, barreling through the back bushes that line the fence.
I even saw the sun rise a few times.
I’ve been in a bit of a creative funk since Bear left, missing him and our daily ‘non-working’ life together – our early morning sun salutations, our daily walks on the Greenway, the sound of his collar tinkling as he followed me around the house, his warm presence at the foot of my bed each night. Since he left, I haven’t written much, nor picked up my camera to take a view on the new spring world in full blown action outside my porch.
I’ve been kind of bored and slow and sluggish. And completely uncreative. A most incongruous feeling, as spring takes flight in the Carolinas.
This morning, Easter morning, I stepped outside with my camera, after two weeks away from our backyard oasis. No furry companion this time, but, nevertheless, a long overdue visit.
The verbena Bear and I planted one sunny afternoon was going strong.
The mint was ramping up for its invasive summer takeover mission.
Our new pink dogwood tree, which Andrew had carefully nurtured throughout the hot late summer, was finally blooming.
The peonies were on their last hurrah, but the irises were close to showing their faces.
The rose buds were coming out, and the Japanese maple leaves were presenting their colors.
Elizabeth Gilbert says that even when there is no passion, when boredom reigns, there can always be curiosity. Curiosity is the low bar, always something you can grab, even when passion seems to have left you. It’s the “tiny tap on the shoulder”, versus passion’s big tower of flame. Curiosity doesn’t take a lot of effort – just a slight turn of the head and a small response to what has caught your attention.
Like the action of grabbing the camera and walking outside your back door. So simple, but so important.
A simple, single step to come back in to wonder and creativity.
If you can take the slightest effort to respond to curiosity, it will eventually lead you back to passion. And that might just be the end of boredom.