Creativity and Change

Notes on Creativity theme of the week:
Characteristics of Creativity

Whenever we discover new ways to see old things, or explore  life in a new direction, we inevitably have to let go of something.

Creativity requires us to change.

It’s like the moment a child starts play school and has to leave behind her teddy bear for the first time. She cannot imagine being without her old friend- she does not yet know the new friends she will make.

Of course, not all change is for the good- the thing you let go of may be better than the thing you find.

And so, with creativity and change, wisdom must be added to the mix. Being aware of the potential consequences of a creative pursuit will help in deciding whether or not to head down that road.

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Today’s 4 Minute Writer  

The Man and the Penny

I take no notice of him at first. He’s just a man in the busy coffee shop making his way toward the bathroom. But then, as he crosses in front of the counter, he bends down to pick up what appears to be a penny, and puts it in his pocket.

I’m staring now.

His clothes don’t fit quite right. His pants hang off him like they’re three sizes too big, the sleeves of his button-down shirt are rolled up past his elbows. His boots drag as he walks.

He had picked up a penny.

My friend asks if I’m paying attention to what she’s telling me about the fight she had with her boyfriend. “Yeah. Yeah, of course I am,” I re-focus.

A few minutes later I’m distracted again as the man walks back the other way and takes a seat in the corner.

He doesn’t have a drink or food, nor does he order anything the whole time we are there.

I wonder if I should buy him something. Would that be patronizing? Am I making stereotyped assumptions about who he is? What assumptions, exactly, am I making? Would he take offense to my offer? What would he think of my motives? What, indeed, would my motives be?

I can think myself out of anything.

As my friend and I get up to leave, I head to the counter and say to the girl ready to take my order, “You see that man over there? This should cover a large latte and a chocolate square for him. Please take it to him.”

We walk out. There is a shopping cart with empty bottles parked just outside the doors.

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Filed under Creativity, Writing

12 responses to “Creativity and Change

  1. Zoe, sometimes your timing is just eerily prescient. I’ve just go off the phone to my sister who wants us both to apply for a jobshare together. Weighting up the pros and cons is so difficult when you’re in that hurricane of indecision.
    When I was young I used to pray for the wisdom of Solomon. Maybe it’s time to begin that prayer again.

    • Jobshare does sound like an interesting idea. I’ve often wondered how you have the time to work, be with your family, blog, self-publish your book, etc., etc. Think of how much more time you’d have to blog…

  2. When a new endeavor presents itself I can get so caught up in the ‘should I or shouldn’t I’ that I find it best after thinking about it logically and trying to rationalize everything to simply trust my instinct. I believe that we know the answer at a deep level in our being. It takes courage to trust it.

    • I sometimes think of how much more spontaneous I was with big decisions in my ‘younger days’. I once decided to move to a different city based on a casual conversation with a friend at a grocery check out line. Just like that. And these days?…

  3. V

    I like what you wrote in regards to using wisdom is decision making. That is a skill that is constantly evolving in my life. I do like the idea that change does require trust, like Helene wrote about, and that indeed courage is required.

    I suppose that’s why many people oppose change. I find this especially true in the work environment. Life is full of uncertainty but actually living it requires faith.

    • Helene is a wise woman indeed 🙂
      “Life is full of uncertainty but actually living it requires faith.” Nice line. I think change can be difficult for people when they are used to things being a certain way for a very long time. Then something comes along to threaten that comfortable place. Resistance is the knee-jerk reaction. Yet, life is full of change, and we only have limited control in our small worlds.

  4. Hi Zoe,

    Great post! I love your thoughts and was inspired and provoked to think after reading them. Letting go is such a part of change, whether for good or for bad, as you pointed out. I think sometimes it’s simply loosening our grip on something rather than letting it go completely that frees us up to live more fully, more in the present. And wisdom… wow – that is such a real part of it all. My husband and I seem to constantly be praying for wisdom to navigate the phases of life we’re going through, and living in spite of the change and with the uncertainty is that wisdom in action. Thanks for a thoughtful post.

    Hope you are well!

    • Thanks for sharing your wisdom.
      A friend I once had wrote music. One of the lines he wrote which stuck with me was, “I always clung so tightly but to what I cannot say.” Sometimes the things we hang onto with an iron fist are better held in an open palm.

  5. “The Man and the Penny” brought to mind these verses, Matthew 25:34-40 –

    Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.

    Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?

    And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.

    • Though I knew it before, since starting this blog- and paying more attention in everyday living because of it- I’m starting to really see that the small things we do are more important than we think. This quote highlights that point so well.

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