This chart is a perpetually ongoing work in progress that hangs on the door in my teaching studio in north Boulder.
I’ve named all the primary forms of creativity I can think of on it - like visual, verbal, performance, etc - plus, in the pie-chart sections, a few of the more obvious ways we explore them. For instance, the category of Verbal art-making takes forms like writing and singing.
Being a work in progress, the chart is not entirely linear in where and how things are described. Which seems as it should be, given the subject. I often feel like I’ve left out something important, though, something I can never seem to catch. This ongoing teaser almost keeps me up at night.
This mask was painted by a man at a mini Burning Man festival in the wilds of New Mexico. He made this mask of himself to wear during a ritual we were going to do. Was he more interested in the meaning of what he was making, or in its being beautiful?
After writing that paragraph, I created a post about meaning and beauty. It was ok, and about how focusing on meaning-making over trying to create beauty is likely to satisfy us more, plus more authentically communicate who we are and where we’re at to others. But then I got struck by another layer of this issue that I want to share with you here.
It’s about the price we have to pay if the ways we express our creativity are to go further into being actually punchy. Think vital, challenging, boat-rocking.
The price of admission is making art - and being creative in our lives - in ways that are ed...
We’re currently creating pass-along journals in the Crossing into Creativity program. Participants exchange journals at each meeting, add to it or otherwise change it, then pass it on at our next gathering.
The journal I got last week had $2 pinned into it, with a note: “Ok, could you do yourself a favor? Take these two dollars and spend them on something your soul wants but which your secretary will not allow. Report back.”
I imagined buying some special $2 bead at Nomad. But in a thrift store the next day - shopping for clothes for another current program project - a young woman nearby started talking to no one in particular about a little evening bag covered in shiny pink plastic scales. Then she put it back on the rack with a sigh, saying “Well, maybe one day…”
Without thinking I went over and asked her if she’d buy it if she could afford it. She said...
Recently a friend and I went for a lazy Saturday afternoon drive through Rocky Mountain National Park, near where we live. It was a sharp-cold, bright winter day, not long before Christmas. We were cruising along enjoying the snowy wilderness, idly looking for a place to pull over and go walking from. Then we saw a number of stationary cars up ahead, so pulled up behind them.
There was half an elk herd on the mountainside to our left - the one old stag there grazing peacefully with obviously no concern about the situation below. The others, grazing in the meadow on our right. Most were within fifty feet, a few within ten feet, including one or two at a time immobile in the road, in front of or between cars.
A couple of them spent a few minutes licking salt off of an SUVs’ tires. One of them stumbled and nearly fell, stepping onto t...
The real task of art is to create a new, a meta-reality, combining the world as received with the life of the mind…How can we loose the hold ordinary living has upon us so that we may begin to open up to the possibility of a larger, a new, an unknown universe?
– Peter London, No More Second Hand Art
Europe has been being altered for decades by ongoing influxes of migrants. Think Algerians emigrating to France. Think people from all over the world, including large numbers from the Indian subcontinent, emigrating to Britain. Think people from poorer European Union nations moving to its richer nations.
Europe is now about to be a whole lot more fundamentally changed by the huge waves of refugees fleeing conflict, violence and persecution in the middle east, Africa, Pakistan and Afghanistan.
I’m European by birth and upbringing. I emigrated to the US 30...