Sunday, April 27, 2014

Boredom leads to Creativity

Boredom is essential to creativity. I believe this fully.

We have to let our minds relax, empty and not be entertained by stuff outside. Then we will get bored. We may feel lonely, agitated, irritable and restless for a while - or in other words - BORED.

Then, when we realise there is no entertainment coming our way, our minds will settle again, and that is when the magic happens. We may think of a song, a poem, a painting or we may go outside and just notice. We will notice the flowers. The sunset. The clouds. This is all creativity.

I have seen this happen in my child. The restless-boredom-creative cycle. He will be irritable and whiny because he is at a loose end, but, if I don't step in and entertain him, I have noticed that after a while he settles into a wonderfully creative game with whatever is around him at home.

Which brings me to comment on our modern lives - we stuff ourselves full of entertainment all the time. This is killing our creativity. It is also fueling our sense that we are, always, somehow, missing out.

We need to allow boredom back in.  Boredom is not a bad thing. And parents need to allow children to feel bored too.

When I was 14 yrs old, I wrote and illustrated a whole 26 page children's book during a long school holiday just for fun! I still have the pages and the story. The drawings are intricate and detailed. The story is well thought out. It is such a wonderful work of fourteen year old art but it would never have happened had I been constantly entertained during the holidays. No. I had time and I filled it with my own creativity.

So let's get bored and let our creative minds create!

Friday, April 25, 2014

Thursday, April 17, 2014

The Car Guard

When I go to gym, I usually park in the same area of the parking lot every time if there is a spot. Creature of habit. Also, I like the car guard there.

He is an older man, I'd put him in his fifties or so, but it's hard to tell because his skin is weathered and brown from standing out in the sun and rain. Over the months we've gone from nodding, to smiling to greeting each other. I like him because he told me once to avoid parking under the tree (where I had just parked, for shade) because the birds would mess my car in no time. I also like him because once, when my four year old son slammed his finger in the car boot door by accident, the car guard didn't come running to see or make a fuss. He just stood at his usual respectful distance and let me deal with it.

I don't always have small change on me to give him, because I usually go to gym without my wallet. And in these days of plastic, I don't always carry cash anyway. So I don't always give this guy money, but then on occasion, to make up for it, I will give him a note.

Today was one of those days. I folded the R10 note and let my son give it to the car guard. I could see he was chuffed - shame - maybe it had been a slow day. He asked my son what his name was, and then he said that his name is Mark and then he told me "My grandkid's names are Kyle and Louwrens" and I suddenly stopped and looked properly at this car guard.  He has grandkids!

Of course he does! And yet, even though we greet each other almost daily, I never thought of him as a person with a life, possibly a wife, and grandchildren. I asked him how old his grandkids are, and he said four and two. He said the two year old, Kyle, is the clever one. I asked him if they live nearby, and he said no, they live in PE and that he is hoping to go see them, that he was just waiting for his son to bring him to PE and that his son is a Civil Engineer.

In that moment, I saw Mark, the car guard. And my heart was there too - feeling his longing to just go visit his grandchildren in PE.