Making Meaning

In a sense, all creativity is a process of giving meaning to what is on a universal scale meaningless. The plant and the poet and the gardener collect these disparate, disorganized raindrops, sun rays, passing birds and make something formal. Creativity gives form to what is in nature ambiguous, suggestive. Language wasn’t there at the beginning. It was created after people had gone through all sorts of experiences and needed to become expressive in order to give meaning to life. – Stanley Kunitz

How can we collect the disparate in our own lives and make meaning? This is the creative opportunity that is pushed upon us by tough times or conflict. What am I to make of the lost job, relationship or possible adventure? How am I to craft a new vessel from the broken pieces of the earlier boat that was ravaged in the storms of disputes and unforeseen circumstances?

Read this blog enough and you’ll figure out that I am an art junkie. Here’s an installation in the Seattle Tacoma international airport named “On Matter, Monkeys and the King,”created with found objects. Trimpin Sculpture

This “kinetic” sculpture by Trimpin self propels along a track within this enclosure.  I love the creative possibilities that appear after an artist has had her way with leftover lumber or garbage on a beach. How can we see ourselves as everyday artists? As I beach comb my inner landscape I wonder, what might we as everyday artists make by combining global warming, the expanding Internet, more humans than ever before and the miniaturization of technology?

One of my dearest friends is a professional mosaicist. Walk with her anywhere and learn how to see the disparate pieces as potential elements of a great new mosaic. That rock I stumbled upon has potential. The broken branch that caught my sleeve holds beauty and opportunity. Egg shells left over from breakfast make a gorgeous background. She calls me through her joy and discipline to see my own life in a more productive way.

What are the disparate pieces that are calling for your creativity this week? How can we make meaning of what trips us up and catches our sleeve?

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