Friday Five – I am NOT crafty!

From RevGalBlogPals, today’s Friday Five has to do with creativity and beauty.

During Lent here at Suburban Presbyterian Church, we are exploring the creative and liturgical arts, with classes and speakers dealing with storytelling, iconography, dance, visual art, writing, and so on. The theme is “A Beautiful Thing,” inspired by the story of the woman anointing Jesus and his declaration that “She has done a beautiful thing for me.” (Mark 14, NIV)We are working on the notion that everything we do can be considered a beautiful thing–a creative offering to God–whether it’s gardening or scrapbooking or accounting or sorting clothes at the clothes closet or child-rearing. And so:

1. Would you call yourself “creative”? Why or why not?

Yes, I would call myself creative, and I think that every human being is creative. I believe that part of being made in the image of God is that God imbues us with creativity – allows us to be co-creators of the universe with God. I also believe that we tend to downplay our creativity – more especially in the last couple centuries than before – as we get older and feel we have to be rational, mature, professional grown-ups. Well, you know what? It sucks to be a rational, mature, professional grown-up all the time, and I think that the suckitude comes in because it is against our divinely created human nature. God wants us to be creative; God aches for us to create beauty. A question: have you ever encountered somebody who is incredibly difficult to love? And then at some point, after you’ve struggled with this difficulty, that person creates something beautiful – not necessarily a piece of art, possibly a story about their children or a gorgeous snapshot or even a particularly elegant spreadsheet or Powerpoint – and you feel an amazing swell of love? I think that’s God, pointing out our innate creativity, and saying, “See? I gave you this to help you love each other, as I love you.”

Okay, so maybe that’s a little goofy. But I also took a course in creative thinking and problem-solving last month, and it was excellent. The professor made the same point – that children are very creative, but that we tend to place little value on creativity in Western schools and workplaces, and those muscles atrophy so that we believe we are not creative. We just need to find ways to intentionally exercise our creative muscles.

2. Share a creative or artistic pursuit you currently do that you’d like to develop further.

Hee hee. This will be really goofy. While passing the time on the bus between Disney World and our hotel on our recent trip, my kids and I started a contest to see who could come up with most absolutely dreadful haiku. We came up with some truly terrible ones! A week later, while driving home from a volunteer shift, my daughter and I started composing more awful haiku in the car together – it was a wonderful shared experience; we laughed so hard! So that night, I set up this blog and invited a bunch of family members to contribute truly bad haiku. We use pictures, movies, and words of the day to inspire us to new heights of dreadfulness. It is wonderful creative fun, and a great outlet when I’m having a lousy rotten stinky crappy day. I mean, what’s better than taking your lousy rotten stinky crappy day and turning it into a lousy – and funny! – piece of poetry? I hope we can keep up with the creative fun, because it’s really been healthy for me.

3. Share a creative or artistic pursuit you have never done but would like to try.

Hmm… there are lots of creative pursuits that I’ve tried, but just not had the time or energy to get to be any good at them. I think I’d like to try being a bonsai artist, but I have the Black Thumb of Death when it comes to plants. (I have actually managed to kill an air fern.)

4. Complete this sentence: “I am in awe of people who can _____________.”

Sew and knit and crochet and do needlepoint and cross-stitch and embroidery. I just have no patience for the fiber arts. I can gum up the works of a sewing machine just by being in the same room with it. My mom has made some gorgeous pieces – needlepoint and cross-stitch and embroidery – and they just amaze me.

5. Share about a person who has encouraged your creativity, who has “called you to your best self.”

Actually, I try to surround myself with people who are positive and encouraging. I’m having a hard time picking out any one single person, because there are many who have played this role for me, and who continue to do so. I may come back to this one later, after I’ve let it percolate in my heart for a while.

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18 thoughts on “Friday Five – I am NOT crafty!

  1. Yes, well played!
    When Cub was a puppy, a few of us engaged in a fit of haiku-writing about her. The best one came from a dear friend:
    Oh, look! A tail! Oh!
    Look! A tail! Oh, look! A tail!
    Oh, look! A tail! Oh!

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  2. Hee hee – that’s a most excellent puppy-ku. My favorite of the horrible ones came from my daughter:

    God hates my mommy
    she always whines about it
    I wish she’d shut up.

    Mostly I love that one because I know God doesn’t hate me, and I don’t whine about it – and my daughter knows it. And it’s just so horribly mean, like some of those deliciously awful thoughts that I never allow to escape my mind. I’ve fantasized about letting loose some of the horrible things I think, but that’s a bad idea.

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  3. That was so funny about the haiku! Your children will always have that awesome memory!! Too cool!

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  4. I totally agree with your response to #1. I think we’re all born with creativity, but it gets beaten out of us as we get older.

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  5. Yep, we were on the same page. You may have been more succinct than I was, but we ended at the same spot.

    Good job all ’round!

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  6. The haiku business is priceless! I have to tell you that I employed the same word yesterday my post on what my amusement park would be like for the attraction “Guess The Meaning”.

    Black Thumb of Death? Please come to my yard and tend to my weeds. Please.

    I certainly resonate with your take on creativity. We bigger faster cheaper Westerners do tend to squash it, limit it and make it a pariah.

    Great list, thanks.

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  7. Sorry Presbyterian Gal, but I can grow weeds pretty well. I think there’s a psychic link between me and the foliage around me. If I want it to grow, it dies. If I want it to die, it flourishes. This is why my lawn consists of onion-grass, dandelions, wild strawberries, clover, and an expanding patch of wild violets. And why I have no garden.

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  8. Please, O Black Thumb, Keep thinking of the violets as wild! I just wish I could have violets in my yard. Oh, right, I don’t have a yard. I have a patio.

    Thanks for visiting me.

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  9. Architects are smart
    But not always kind, I hear
    Thanks for the visit.

    My attempt at a haiku…I truly enjoyed your post.

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  10. i love the haiku site: God hates my mommy and Who let the dogs out? are my favs 🙂 blessings!

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  11. Your haiku site is AWESOME!!! And I couldn’t agree more with your answer to #1 – God indeed created us to be creative! (we are, after all, made in God’s image)

    Well played!

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  12. I love your response to #1! I think we forget that in our churches…God is creator and we are made in that image!

    Haikus are fun. I know a pastor who Haikus the lectionary at Among The Hills.

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  13. You can cook with onion grass; dandelion greens are an excellent excellent addition to salads. Wild strawberries are tiny but oh so sweet. Red clover flowers, made into tea, have many medicinal uses. Violets are lovely; not everything has to be useful!

    Enjoy your unintentional garden.

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