Tuesday, June 11, 2013

The Creative Spirit

The errands yesterday were moderately successful. I got some zinnias for my patio, then when Home Depot only had potting soil in huge bags, I went to Target, where they were putting the garden stuff on clearance. I'll have to hit them again to see if anything else has been marked down, but I got a "self-watering" pot to plant my new basil plant in. We'll see if that resolves my irrigation while out of town issues. I also found some flameless "candles" on clearance. The lamps on the old ceiling fan were a pretty frosted Victorian style, and I thought they'd make interesting candle holders, but I wasn't sure they were safe around direct flames. But put a flameless candle in them, and you can't tell the difference. Even better, I can use them with the ceiling fan running, which doesn't work so well with real candles. Now I need to decide where to place these. Meanwhile, since I had to be at Target, I got the ingredients I needed to try a recipe I found that I think is a lot like something my mom used to make. So there was baking, and it was close, but there was another version that I need to try to see if that one's closer. However, I have a grand idea for something utterly decadent I could make based on this recipe.

But I kind of failed on the yarn because they didn't have quite the right color and the one that I thought was closest turned out to be wrong when I got it home, and the texture when I started knitting with it was wrong. I think it will make a good blanket, and they had a free pattern at the store that looked interesting, but now I have to decide which wrong shade is closest to being right, since the yarns with the right texture were the wrong color. This may require another trip to the store, depending on which color I decide to go with. I already have some yarn of one slightly wrong color, and they sell it at the store next to the grocery store. The other slightly wrong color is only at a store that's farther away.

I was looking at all these things I'm doing that aren't writing and realized they're all forms of creativity. That's one of those The Artist's Way concepts, of indulging other kinds of creativity as a way of refilling the well and getting the emotional energy and inspiration you need for your chosen field of creativity. Knitting, baking and even playing in the garden are all ways of tapping into the creative spirit. At least, that's what I'm telling myself. But I have read studies that showed more creativity and better cognitive function immediately after a session of "play." It's also something that's effective as part of brainstorming. When you've spent time playing, you're more likely to generate ideas and be more open to wacky ideas that can be molded into something useful. I'm looking at this week as a kind of creative retreat to kick off a new book, so it's a good time to indulge in creativity even if it isn't directly book-related. And while I'm doing all this other stuff, I'm listening to music and seeing what songs strike me as potential soundtrack material, which makes me come up with ideas.

But today's activity is going to be mostly about cleaning house because it's easier to think properly in a restful environment, and because making jam (tomorrow's activity) requires a lot of clear space in the kitchen.

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