Saturday, January 15, 2011


Standing in the shower a couple of days ago I started to think about creation - not the Creation but simply making something that wasn't there before - like this, I suppose. First it was a thought...then words typed on a keyboard...inserted into drawing added.... uploaded to the internet...and finally: a Blog Post. Not worthy of the fancy name creation yet fitting the description of something which didn't exist before I caused it to exist.

Our articulated thoughts - however repetitious, witty, profound, perceptive, polished, crude, cliché, original or derivative, are our products and we are floating in an ocean of our own and other people's products. The books on our shelves, the CDs, DVDs, downloads, pictures, posters and objects we cherish demonstrate our need to be fed by the creations of those minds we choose to consort with, as well as our own urge to be creators. We feel that creativity is a state to be attained, nurtured, promoted, prized and rewarded. When we are not being creative we feel guilty, worthless, ordinary. We worship at the altar of the Great Creatives and aspire to be in their pantheon, or to knock them out of it, or to serve them.

But what if it all vanished suddenly? Not a single book on our shelves, nothing on our walls, blank pages in notebooks where there were poems, stories, sketches, ideas. Nothing on television, nothing on the internet, nothing in the cinema, theatre, club, gallery, museum, concert hall. Whoosh! All gone. Silence. 

So, standing in the shower, this is what I was thinking. Creation, as I experience it, comes out of nothingness. Silence. The absence of creations. 



Dominic Rivron said...

Since we feel a need for it, I suppose that if it all vanished, we'd start replacing it.

I've been thinking about this a lot in the last day or two, too. Just reading about how we started to be creative about 100,000-50,000 years ago. What was life like before that? I suppose if our brains were slightly different before that, the absence of art never occurred to us.

At the risk of shamelessly plugging my blog, my current post (taken with its soon-to-be-posted sequel) are closely related to this.

jkdavies said...

"We feel that creativity is a state to be attained, nurtured, promoted, prized and rewarded. When we are not being creative we feel guilty, worthless, ordinary."

Very true. I recognise that for me making something (a cake, a picture, a blog post, hell even completing a jigsaw at times works) is something that staves off depression for a little longer.

Natalie d'Arbeloff said...

Dominic, yes, but what would create with our present-day brains and skills if all of ancient and modern art, literature, music etc. vanished suddenly, along with our memories of it? If our creative abilities really had a completely blank slate to work on?

jk,indeed,I think that for many of us who choose some kind of creative role in life, it's an antidote to depression, perhaps because of the un-creativity of so much that surrounds us.

Natalie d'Arbeloff said...

Dominic, my sentence was supposed to read "what would we create....".
Typos proliferate all by themselves!