Making the Connection

Notes on Creativity theme of the week:
Characteristics of Creativity

Ever have one of those moments when a thousand things you’ve been thinking about converge into one cohesive whole? I had one of those mind-crashing experiences while reading David Gauntlett’s site Making is Connecting, based on his book of the same title.
Nearly all of the concepts we’ve been discussing on this blog- like pouring creative energy into the small things of life, the value of handmade goods, the effect of our creative works on others, and using creative energy for the social good- all drew together into one single picture.
Mr. Gauntlett unites all these and other concepts under the banner of connection as the vital characteristic of creativity. He discusses the progression of connecting ideas or materials to each other to form something new, then connecting with other people on this something new, and finally, together with other people, connecting this something new to the world to tackle social problems and global issues.
I needed a moment to soak it all in.
It left me with clarity on defining my next steps: experimenting with connecting thoughts from this blog to actions in my ‘real’ life, reporting back to you online, and seeing how (hopefully) over time something materializes through this to tackle social or global issues.
There was only one concept from our discussions that was missing from Mr. Gauntlett’s single picture: the connection we have been exploring between creativity and the divine. However, I think these words from his book’s conclusion (posted on his site) can also be applied to the divine:
“…others may be able to sense the presence of the maker, in the thing… made- the unavoidably distinctive fingerprint that the thinking-and-making individual leaves on their work, which can foster a sense of shared feeling and common cause…” 
*                    *                    *

For a phenomenal example of connecting a varied range of ideas to each other, see In each post she connects ideas as varied as migraines, IKEA, Wild West movies, and a pile of laundry into a wonderfully woven whole. 

Image source:

Today’s 4 Minute Writer  

The Happiness Bubble

He lives in his own world, oblivious to the reactions of others and to the misery of the world. He has been this way since birth, always happy, living inside his own bubble. Someone dismisses him, he doesn’t notice; the news cries out rumors of wars, he merely shrugs his shoulders.

The disparity between his reactions and the natural response to circumstances worries his wife. She has never seen him angry or ever heard him complain. “Why can’t he be more like other husbands?” she asks her friends. “Why can’t my husband be more like yours?” they reply.

And then one day, the unthinkable happens- the entire political and economic world order collapses. Complete chaos ensues- food supply chains crumble, laws cease to exist, ownership no longer matters.

He walks down the street amidst screams of devastation and the thunder of gun shots.

He continues walking, a smile lighting on his face as he thinks how happy he is to be alive.  

Image source: 

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Filed under Creativity, Writing

8 responses to “Making the Connection

  1. Thanks Zoe!

    As usual, a visit to your blog leaves me buzzing with ideas, this site really is a one-off…

    I love the idea that through connections, creativity is achieved. I am reminded of tiny springs that become great oceans because they join with other streams and rivers. And my visits to this site, most days, are a tiny example of how this new cyber-ocean can offer so many opportunities for those of like mind to connect and create.

    • Yes- and then, somewhere, sometime, somehow action springs forth. I am action-oriented, so for me connections must sprout legs and start walking at some point. Perhaps a nomadic journey at the outset, until the path is found.
      I see a few people are popping over to have a look at your site- I know they’ll enjoy what they find!

  2. I love it when those connections happen! I believe we are all connected, and it is great when those are revealed to us.

    • So true. It’s funny, too, how some connections happen without us even being aware. There have been a few times when I’ve finished writing a post and after looked at what someone else has written only to find they had just written on the same idea. Other times I’ve looked back at what I’ve written and only afterwards realized how the thoughts were influenced by something I’d read.
      Connections certainly make life richer.

  3. This is an important insight — that creative people don’t create “from nothing,” but rather recombine what has already been created. There’s something humble about that “secondary” act of creation, even though it’s very powerful.

    Connections can create more than just new ideas or artistic visions; they create new ways of being, new societies.

    But even the most creative person can’t bring dust to life. Creative people didn’t create their own powers of creativity. They didn’t create themselves. They can’t sustain their own creations from loss or decay. They can’t sustain themselves.

    I like how you bring up the divine in all this. If human creativity is that powerful, yet limited, then why do some of the most creative people choose to believe it came about by means of a principle such as evolution? Such a belief seems to me to dishonor to one’s own creativity.

    “Evolution” is a pattern without a creative consciousness. It can’t envision a better future state. However, this non-entity receives honor for bringing humanity to its current state, and many invest hope in It for bringing humanity to greater perfection in the future.

    This object of human honor and hope is an uncreative, unintelligent, and cruel process. It kills off countless beings because they are less “fit” to survive. Is that creative? It sheds no tears for human cruelty and sufferings, nor does It care whether we create a symphony or a skyscraper. Does it nurture human creativity and discourage its opposite? Moral good and evil are nothing to It. To It, the holocaust and the invention of the CD player are minor blips. Its uncreative process is about trillions of years of statistical significance inching forward.

    Consider, on the other hand, the possibility that human creativity is a shadow and reflection of a good divine being. This belief invests human honor and hope in the creative power of one who can do more than just connect & combine but give birth to new essence — one who created this fragile earth; one who can change something’s or someone’s very being from the connection of a sperm and egg into a conscious, breathing soul; one who can bring into being a new type of life that is sustainable beyond death. This creator is one who cares about every word that a blog writer writes in a blog.

  4. We were made for relationship – connection. We know it, I think. We need it. I’m spreading myself a little thin right now. Blessings to you, Zoe…

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