Saturday, May 05, 2007

Digging Deep

I was going to turn over the blog to Abigail today. She's sitting here, twiddling her thumbs, telling me in silent reproach that she'd be far better organized than this and would not need a 'guest blogger' to take the pressure off while she tweaked all her chapters and then wrote the last of the book.

Of course she would.

Characters like Abigail sometimes make me want to strangle them. On the other hand, I'm sure she'll blog next week for me. And you never know who else might turn up. Other people (those who have already had their happily ever afters) are inclined to stop back and help out (in exchange for babysitting usually).

But I've told Abigail I'll do today's blog because I have a new book to talk about. It's called Digging Deep, and it's by Fran Sorin. The subtitle is "unearthing your creative roots through gardening." And when The Prof, who knows me all too well, picked himself up off the floor from laughing at the thought of me gardening, he said, "Um, that looks . . . interesting."

It is interesting. And it is yet another approach to understanding creativity which Sorin defines as: "the energy of making something where there was nothing before."

A nice broad definition that can fit dance, painting, writing, gardening, architecture -- and even things like writing ad copy, creating an ambience in a room, making dinner, sewing a dress. Whenever we are called upon to be imaginative, inspired, resourceful, innovative, we have the chance to be creative. It is, in fact, a way to approach life.

I don't know yet how deeply in tune I'm going to be with Sorin's book. It would be hard to find one that spoke to me more deeply than Twyla Tharp's, The Creative Habit.

But one part of her introduction definitely resonated.

She wrote: "Living creatively does more than just make things around us prettier or wittier. Our creative roots make up the very fiber of what we are as individuals, and by unearthing our creative nature, we at the same time unearth our authentic selves -- not the persona we offer to the world, and not who we think we ought to be, but who we are in our deepest realms. As we create, we begin to reveal ourselves, until one day we realize that who we really are and what we are doing are in perfect alignment. At then end of the day, the reason we create is not for the finished product, but to get to the best parts of ourselves."

As a child and a teen, whenever I wrote, I hid it all away, fearing that it was too personal, too much a part of who I was. And at that age, my 'self' was too fragile to share. Now, I guess, I don't care to protect that self so much. In fact, I think, as Sorin does, that the self is enriched by sharing, and that writing is a way of discovering who I am and what I believe.

I'm looking forward to reading what Sorin has to say. I might even learn to love gardening.


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