Saturday, November 17, 2012

Soaring like a great whale: the stuff of creativity

Some days I'm watching people and it's as if my skin is looser, the bones softer, my eyes more elastic. The man with the limp, the chubby girl with the pink stained t-shirt saying 'Pretty', the enormous pale woman with the enormous pale muffin, the girl with freckles and the staccato way of being helpful without being too helpful because she doesn't know where to stop -- I watch and in watching I lose the edges of me and start to absorb the edges of them. I feel a feeling close to love for them for all their differences and oddities, their disabilities and abilities, their joys and miseries. Like the girl with freckles, I get a sense that if I keep going I might not stop, I might start to absorb all the other people on the street, in the town, the city, the country. Love the world, the universe.

These sorts of moments I think of as deeply creative ones, because they are about empathy, climbing into other skin and eyes and brains and ways of being, and understanding what's there, writing it.

It reminds me of the way Jill Bolte Taylor described the stroke she had in the left side of her brain, and how, left with only the right ('creative') side of the brain functioning properly, she felt unmoored, without the usual sense of the limits of self. Her spirit soared like a great whale, she said, in a sea of euphoria.

So creativity -- the ordinary stuff without the left-brain stroke -- is, surely, a version of that cosmic thing Bolte Taylor experienced. The soaring, the openness to all, the euphoria. Groovy.


Claire Beynon said...

I love this, Mary - it's a beaut. reflective essay, much more expansive than its 4 paragraphs/15 lines. It all comes back to relationships, doesn't it. . . soaring, creativity, empathy, ordinary extraordinary stuff. xo

Claire G said...

Yes. Thank you.

T. said...

You've so accurately described what it feels like to be a poet!