Are we all creative beings? Why are some people seen as creative and others not? Is it a question of talent or perception? Is having a creative outlet a productive way to work through your emotions good or bad? Will being creative make you better in touch with your feelings? These are questions that have hit me this morning and I thought I should write them down. I don’t have answers to any of these things and I’m sure someone out there has done a lot of research into this already. But what if it isn’t that complicated? I’m not saying that we all have the potential to be a da Vinci. Obviously some people are more talented than others. But what if we could all create a little something to call our own, something that gives us joy whether the world acknowledges it or not.
What is it to be creative? I think it is an honest expression of your emotion at that moment. Easier said than done, but what if from early childhood, we were given the tools to discover what our creative voice is? Whether it is through art, music, building, cooking, writing, sport, any activity that taps into your emotions. And what if there wasn’t a standard you needed to reach, just a level of self satisfaction. When my kids were little, they went to a school that was called “the gifted and talented school”. The premise was all kids are gifted and talented in some way, it’s the school’s job to figure out what that is and nurture it. I’m not sure they were really that successful, but it is a great premise for a school.
Because I was never any good at art at school, I went along thinking I wasn’t creative. It turns out that I am but producing a drawing of a school building on a piece of paper is not how it manifests. Also something else I found out as an adult, you can be taught to draw. Now I know there’s a huge difference between being able to draw an object and being an artist but if the act of drawing gives you pleasure and provides an outlet, then why not? Of course if you then think you should show it in a gallery, that could be a problem. But my dad has a friend who does just that. He loves taking photographs and sometimes when he gets back from a trip, he holds an exhibition. He rents space, has the photos blown up and mounted and invites his friends to come along. Obviously he has the resources to do this, but it gives him great pleasure. The photos are good, but mostly you see his passion and delight.
I guess it’s a long shot to think that you could implement something like this in the classroom and maybe it’s not practical given the current class sizes. But really, while it is important to learn to read and write and reason and all that academic sort of thing, ultimately, isn’t it more beneficial to have a society of emotionally well rounded people? People who can channel their emotions into something that gives them pleasure and is not harmful to them or any one else? I think with this blog, I hav added writing as one of the ways that I create. What’s yours?
Life is hectic, life is manic. As modern women, we take pride in how much we are able to accomplish in a day. Multi tasking is a given, the question is, how many tasks can you do simultaneously?
Since I work from home and for myself, my periods of intense activity come in bursts. I have times when I can’t even think straight I’m so busy to vegging on the sofa during the day. But the down times are few and far between, mostly I live in manic activity. Lately I have been so busy that I can recall conversations but not with whom or where they took place. I was not fully present obviously, or I would be able to remember these things.
Then something happens to make you stop and think. In this case, it was a terrible something. A young person was taken very suddenly, a senseless accident. I saw how his friends are still in shock, I can’t even begin to imagine what his parents are going through. Gone, in an instant, before he even had a chance at life.
I was always a bit cynical about the ” live each day as if it could be your last” thing. How incredibly tiring to live that way, I thought, too intense. But now I see it’s not about intensity, it’s about intent. If you do everything with thought, then you are fully present in your own life. When I go, I don’t want a string of half done, half assed projects that I can half remember to be my legacy.
So I hope to take a bit more time and care in everything I do. I’m not striving for perfection, just to go about each day with a little more thought and a little less action.
As if to send me on my way, I went to a meditation class last night given by my neighbour S. She demystified it and made it something accessible. Creating stillness, making the periods of jangly activity farther apart, these are all by products of meditation. Armed with this new tool, I hope to recreate that blissed out feeling I had last night during class on a more regular basis.
I have had encounters lately with food purporting to be Japanese that has just floored me. It’s not that I object to experimentation and fusion, I just think you shouldn’t tell people it’s Japanese.
My first astounding encounter was on TV. Don’t believe everything you see on TV was being illustrated as I watched, jaw hanging open as the presenter said cilantro and soft shell crab were Japanese. Now that’s just lazy, did anyone do any research or maybe their viewership is so small it’s ok to make things up? There are probably 50 people out there now who think cilantro is Japanese. That was just an example of the liberties the programme took, but you get the idea.
The second happened in a restaurant, where the edamame came drenched in a sauce that was sweet and salty. The whole point of edamame as an appetiser is that it’s meant to be dry and salty to go with beer and sake. Because it is finger food, it can’t be drippy. But the ultimate was when they deep fried a sushi roll. Yes, the entire roll in batter and deep fried. I guess if you can do it to a Mars bar, then why not sushi. It was definitely strange, but not altogether bad. Just please don’t call it Japanese food.
Japanese are truly faddy and food in Japan is constantly evolving. But I think when you’re introducing a cuisine to a wider audience in another country, how hard is it to start by doing the basics right? There are plenty of restaurants in London that do that, from the extravagant to the humble. I do hope people will try those too.
I feel the need to balance out the rant above with a positive experience of unusual pairings. I went to a sake and chocolate tasting one evening last week. That’s not something that you think immediately would be a good idea. But the chocolates had been created especially to match the sake and the result was just sublime. We were told that actually sake and chocolate go very well together because the low acidity of the sake doesn’t fight with the chocolate.
As ever, London is a fascinating place where you can find just about anything. I am looking forward to my next culinary adventure, good or bad.