Exercise #38: Creativity

Exercise 38 Instructions

Creativity is a weaver bird building its house near a flirtatious peacock
Creativity is the wolf pack working as a team to catch the wily fox.
Creativity is a thunder storm breaking just long enough for the sun to peek through and make a rainbow
Creativity is an ordinary looking stone that cracks to reveal a hollow filled with colorful crystals
Creativity is morning glories twined around a rose bush
Creativity is an apple tree that blossoms in spring, bears fruit in summer and dresses itself in glorious colors in the fall.
Creativity is the youthful babbling brook that grows until it tumbles, roaring, down a waterfall.
Creativity is a profusion of colorful butterfly wings in a garden filled with daisies.
Creativity is a child’s first attempt at building a kite.

“Creativity is everywhere,” my art teacher had said, “Today, as you’re heading for home, I want you to look around and see the creativity of nature. Become inspired by it and draw something that will help the rest of us see what you saw.”

I sighed. I never really believed that creativity was my strong point at all. But my mom was paying fifty big ones so that I could take this art class from a lady who looked like a fashion doll that was left on a radiator and then seriously stretched. Still, I figured that it couldn’t hurt to try it. So I grabbed my backpack and went for a walk in the park. I could hear the peacocks yelling for help not far away. I’d always thought that peacocks were really colorful. Maybe I could draw them. When I got there, though, what caught my attention wasn’t the peacocks, but this little brown bird that looked like it was weaving a basket out of grass stems high up around a tree branch. I was so stunned by that, I completely forgot about drawing the peacocks until they’d gone somewhere else.

Frustrated, I decided to visit the local museum of natural history. Surely that counted as taking inspiration from natural creativity. There was a new exhibit in the museum that day and a tour group was visiting it when I got there.

“Here we see the creative way in which the wolf pack hunts its prey,” intoned the guide to the group as they watched a video set up near the exhibit, “and the equally creative way that the wily fox eludes them.” I was fascinated and, once again, completely forgot to draw a picture of the exhibit.

Just when I was about to leave the museum in disgust, I heard the crash of thunder. Outside, rain was pouring from the sky as if someone had just turned on the sprinkler system. I’ve always liked watching thunderstorms, but this time, just for a second, the clouds broke and there was a rainbow framed in the window I was looking out of. Yet again, I was captivated, if only for a second, since the sun ducked behind a cloud again, extinguishing the rainbow as easily as I might blow out a candle.

Stuck in the museum now, I decided to head over to the Rocks and Minerals exhibit. I was strolling along, looking at all the different kinds of stone– hematite, flint, quartz –when something caught my eye. It was a perfectly ordinary stone that seemed to have been sawed completely in half. Inside, it was a world of colorful crystals. The label on the display case the curious stone was in read, “geode.”

“The rain’s stopped,” some kid yelled from the entrance. Now was my chance to head home.

The gutter was full of left over rain water that chuckled like a little brook at first, then grew as more water poured from the street into the gutter until, at last, it went roaring into a sewer grate in a lovely, blue-gray waterfall. Not too far away, I noticed an apple tree, its pale pink blossoms fluttering in the breeze that was leftover from the peculiarly short storm. I knew that, within a few months, those flowers would become fruit. Then, after a while, the fruit would be harvested and the leaves of the tree would all turn to gold, as though nature had Midas’ magical touch.  Near it, a rosebush was standing in the loving embrace of a set of morning glory vines.  The effect was much like a bouquet from a floral shop, except that it was alive and growing.

I kept walking, wondering why I hadn’t stopped to draw any of the fantastic things I’d seen that day. Even the storm had been lovely, even when it had been briefly disturbed by the quiet brilliance of the rainbow.

Approaching home, now, I saw Mrs. Garfield’s garden. She’d planted nothing but daisies this year, claiming that they were easier to look after than any other kind of flower. Obviously she wasn’t the only one who enjoyed them. Today, the daisy garden was a blaze of beautiful, fluttering colors as a cloud of butterflies and moths danced attendance on their simple beauty.

That was when it hit me. Maybe what I wanted to draw was a little of everything I’d seen that day. I went inside, tossed my bag on the floor of the mud room and went to the dining table to work on my drawing. My kid brother, Todd, was working on something that looked very much like a garbage bag tied to a bunch of bamboo sticks.

“If mom catches you making a mess with her stuff,” I informed him, setting my drawing things on the table, “she’s going to have a fit.”

“It’s not a mess,” Todd scowled at me. “It’s a kite. I’m gonna paint it with permanent markers so it’ll look like a dragon flying in the sky.” So saying, he grabbed a marker and proceeded to draw on the plastic bag.

Grinning, I began to draw, inspired at last. I put in a little of everything I had seen on the way home, even Todd and his lame-oid plastic garbage bag kite. You know, I actually got an A on my drawing!


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