I thought I wasn’t creative. Why? Because I really am not great at painting – not the picture kind, though can do a wall very well, and in fact am good at choosing colour for interior designs – but anyway I’m not great at painting, really can’t draw, don’t see any fun in sewing, knitting, colouring in, felting, working with wood, etc, etc. All those things that go into “being creative.” And I was reminded of it again at an event we were at where the organiser talked about how they were into creative expression so they had some prophetic painters on stage and had wanted a dancer. Ok so I can’t dance or play an instrument either 🙂 At one point I felt a great urge to splurge all my thoughts on paper, write a bit of poem and prose, so I went to look for some paper. I was told by the most lovely man that any comments I had could go in the book they had for people to write in. That wasn’t what I wanted to do. I wanted to create with my words. They wouldn’t have liked my poem or random words scrawled across their lovely book, and it wouldn’t have been fair either. What I had to do was a bit like the artists were doing, putting random bits and pieces out on to a page until they became a coherent whole, a something that was coming from deep within.
I remember once, a large church meeting about 15-20 years ago, there were some prophetic painters there encouraging the creative arts. We’d brought along some of our youth group and some musician and painter friends to help them get some encouragement. Well the guy comes up to me and goes “you’re creative.” and i look at him like he’s spoken in a foreign language. “You’re an artist” he tries again. Again I stare. I can see he’s trying to get through to me so I mumble “well I write a bit” and suddenly he’s talking to me, wanting to know what I write, how I write, what it does for me. Well there am I crying because no one has ever been interested in my writing before. It was an awesome moment. Though I have still struggled on and off over the years because I’m not a writer as I think writers should be. Oh my that comparing thing!!! Need to kill that one some time! Anyway I often see writers as those who are clever with words, those who publish books, or even those who are working towards publishing. But in fact that is stupid. I write all sorts of things, from lists to journal to these blog posts, to emails to friends, to the start of a story, and in fact many short stories and poems.
I am a writer and I am creative. Ok so we can all write and in fact I think we should all be writing more. Maybe that’s the thing – not many people can paint well or dance well or play an instrument well or sing well – but in fact most people can write and can write well, so it doesn’t get deemed as “being creative”, maybe? I have been reading and doing the exercises in Julia Cameron’s “Right to Write” and in that she says, and I agree with her, that too often we see writing as something that schools have taught and conditioned us to – how to write clearly and tidily so that teacher and mark our work and so we get scared by writing. I think its time to realise the word in all of us – mind you I also wonder if its time to release the painter in all of us too?
I’ve just read a post asking “Seven/Seven: Where were you?” and also today was talking with mother of the girl I tutor about remembering where we were when … and listed various events that we remembered and talked of what we remember about where we were.
I commented on the “Seven/Seven: Where are you?” post and said:
I will always remember where I was on 7/7/2015. I was at home in Frome, home educating my daughter. My son had gone to college that day in Radstock. We were really engrossed in something when suddenly we both said “let’s put the radio on”. Neither of us will ever know why but we listened with shock as the reports unfolded. We are Christians and we just prayed and cried.
But also I remember clearly where I was when the Twin Towers were hit –
We were in our first week of our Family DTS in Paisley Scotland. I think it was the first time I’d left my kids for with someone to teach them since I’d taken Ben out of school. Us adults were in a church hall about 2 miles from the main house. Our base leader came in (the days before everyone had mobile phones) and said there was dreadful news. It unfurled slowly. We were on our faces in prayer. It was not just an awful time nationally but for me it was an awesome time realising the things I could pray and the strength I could pray with.
The death of Princess Diana is neither so deep or so inspiring.
We were living in Belfast. We had been there for about 10 months. I was helping out in the Sunday school at the church we had been attending for maybe 8 months. Someone came in and said “Diana’s been killed in a car accident.” Everyone looked sad. I didn’t say anything. I presumed this was someone they knew, someone who attended the church. I remember racking my brains to think of any Diana’s I’d known. Thankfully I kept quiet and didn’t embarrass myself.
But it also brings back memories of where I was when I hear of things closer to home –
when I heard my Dad’s voice on my answer phone and I knew something serious had happened – my sister had drowned.
when my husband phoned from our friend’s house to say that friend had succeeded in hanging himself.
my Dad bursting into tears in the first ever house I owned to say my Mum had left him for the second time.
the colour of the train we were on when we picked up the message from my husband to say his dad was dead
These are a list of events where I can see and smell how things were, that have stayed seared in my brain, where everything is still so vibrant, where something has been capture. A moment in time. And yet there was a prompt on a
Linkedin group I’m part of which this morning said “write imagine your 5-6 year old self and write about the kitchen in your family home.” I couldn’t remember. I know I’ve moved a lot as an adult but as a child we only lived in four different homes and I can only really recall the third house, where I lived from 10-16. I only remember the fourth house because I visited it twenty years after I’d moved out because new friends were living in it. How can I see snapshots for vividly and yet not remember even something vague from a place I must have gone in to over a thousand times?
It is said that memory is an odd thing and that we shouldn’t trust it that much. What is truth may not be fact. Yet those things etched in my brain that I have mentioned above I am sure that they are really true, that they really were like that. In fact there are certain
words or phrases that can send me right back there. Though I wonder if I spoke to others who were there whether their truth is the same as mine?