"The truly creative mind in any field is no more than this: A human creature born abnormally, inhumanely sensitive. To them... a touch is a blow, a sound is a noise, a misfortune is a tragedy, a joy is an ecstasy, a friend is a lover, a lover is a god, and failure is death.
Add to this cruelly delicate organism the overpowering necessity to create, create, create -- so that without the creating of music or poetry or books or buildings or something of meaning, their very breath is cut off...They must create, must pour out creation. By some strange, unknown, inward urgency they are not really alive unless they are creating." ---Pearl Buck
I was a shy girl with light blonde hair; different as I could be from the kids I grew up with in Hawaii. As much as I wanted to blend in, that much more I stuck out. I always wished I could have dark hair and be a local, or at least be a popular white kid, like the ones who could do cartwheels and were adored on the playground. Instead, I was a bookish, bunny-toothed girl who could not for the life of her figure out how to talk pidgen. I was too quiet and unsure to try to really talk to many other kids except my closest friends, so, not knowing what to make of me, some kids teased; buck tooth, haole, teacher's pet. Because I didn't have much else to do but think, I internalized these words far more than any one of them could have imagined or even intended. After a while, I realized it really wasn't worth my energy to worry about these words, so I focused on what I loved instead, and that was to learn by reading and by making.
As a child, I had a strong desire to create something out of nothing. I was fascinated with taking everyday items around the house and creating something useful or beautiful out of them. It was a challenge to try to make a little sculpture of a skiing guy out of some old wire or to create a whole world in a diorama box. I was a renegade gardener, attempting to grow an orange seed in the soil next to a school sidewalk, and a watermelon in the dirt next to our apartments. This way of thinking and working through creative ideas sometimes solely out of stubbornness is what has enabled me to learn so much in my adult years.
It is a powerful thing to be able to take an idea from the mind and to make it real. Equally meaningful to me is the ability to learn something from a book and to put it into my life, whether in practice or substance. When I wanted to spin yarn, I read every book I could on the subject and soon tried my hand at it. I love to craft words in print to say what I can't muster in speech. Capturing the beauty of nature and children through photography or drawing stirs my soul. I love to learn about how ancient peoples lived, and love learning old knowledge, wisdom, and ways of living that were perpetuated for so many years leading up to the modern age. Taking this old knowledge, it is beautiful to me to revive it and live it out in my life. I love teaching a child things I have learned and seeing their eyes widen over what they have just come to know. Being creative can be restorative and healing.