This week has been a week of computer glitches, of visiting the computer repair shop not just once but three times because my problem seemed to be reserved for my eyes only. It was part way through, however, that I decided to see an otherwise irritating experience in a fortuitious light. Prior to the interruption, my writing days had been quietly ordered and predictable, enmeshed - as our lives so often are - in routine. Yet, our creative brains thrive on novel situations and new landscapes, situations that take us away from the norm. This provides fodder for our creative souls and it doesn't have to be a trek through the Andes, or anywhere particular glamorous so long as its set apart from our usual habits.
And so, part way through my week the thirty minute drive through south London stopped being a battle against reckless van drivers and became instead a chance to observe and appreciate the different cultures that lay beyond my windshield; the way one road might epitomise middle class England, whilst another might well be a street in Iran or Turkey or even urban Jamaica. I saw the metropolis of London for what it was: a delightful melange of cultures, of different fashions and foods and religions and no longer a great swath of land between my house and the computer shop. I delighted too in the characters I met in the computer repair shop, the stories they had to tell so that any archetypal myths were rapidly laid to rest.
I soon realised how other irritating interruptions could be viewed in a similar way so that one's creative mindfulness, rather than one's frustration, could be immediately brought into play. Perhaps you all do this anyway, maybe I'm just a bit slow to catch on here. All I know, is that my internal notepad won't be coming out only when I'm floating through the canals of Venice (which of course happens often) but when I'm tempted to otherwise pull out my hair!
Albert Einstein once said, 'Everything that is really great and inspiring is created by the individual who can labour in freedom.' The idea of group creativity is almost an oxymoron. But perhaps it is unhelpful to separate the creativity of individual minds from the communities within which they flourish. People, after all, understand themselves not only as individuals but also as members of the groups to which they belong.