There is something incrediby unusual about the way creativity strikes me. I don’t usually feel it “coming on.” In many ways it feels quite sudden. Sometimes I purposely turn to a creative outlet, be it drawing or writing poetry, when I am beginning to feel the warning signs of depression or anxiety (not that I can always feel it coming) or when I am already feeling stuck in their poisonous grasps. In those times, creativity isn’t quite so abrupt. But there are other times, when I was out to lunch with my mom yesterday, for example. By all accounts I should have been checked out mentally – I was exhausted, physically ill for the fourth consecutive day, and hadn’t eaten in over 12 hours because I had fasted for blood work labs.
As I was sitting at our booth, waiting for food, I suddenly asked my mom for a pen. I wanted to doodle on my napkin and keep my hands busy. Usually I love doodling, even on napkins, but yesterday I realized I really wanted paper. I wanted the ability to help the pen glide across the paper with minimal resistance amd concentration. But alas, we were at one of those restaurants that didn’t have placemats… 😦
I don’t know exactly what happened to prompt my thought shift – perhaps my mom or someone at a passing table said a specific word – but suddenly the beginning words to the “London Bridge” nursery rhyme popped into my head and then I wasn’t thinking of doodling anymore. I unfolded my napkin so it was only folded over once, bent my head over the table, and began scribbling out the words, lines, and stanzas that started flooding my brain. Within a couple minutes I finished my poem– just before my mom walked back in from the car with a notebook she realized she had. Haha. Funny timing, that. I breezily laughed, saying the moment and creative surge had passed, but thanks anyways.
It is so weird, the way in which the creative brain takes over at times. As soon as I got that poem out, my body relaxed, slowly releasing the built up excited energy that writing a spontaneous poem inspires. Inspiration can be found in so many places, in the dark throes of depression and anxiety, in the beauty and excitement of nature, or even in a familiar restaurant in the midst of physical illness. Words, songs, pictures, smells, and memories can become the catalyst for something truly beautiful, be the end result considered dark, haunting, inspiring, or joyous. We simply have to open our eyes the to beauty that exists all around.