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Left, Right, Left, Right, Left…

January 28, 2009 Leave a comment Go to comments

Now I realize why I could never keep these journals going; my life is boring.

When I was younger, if I didn’t have anything exciting going on, I could always call on my creative side and make something up. Crazy story about a Nazi at Giant Eagle? Done that. What about talking about some incredibly deep theological thoughts that are running through my head? I’ve done that too. It just seems my pouch of creative juice is running low.

More than anything else, I’d blame this on the traditional education system. When I started out in pre-school, I had my creative mind going all the time. I was writing completely made up stories, drawing pictures, or even playing submarine under the coffee table. As time wore on, so did the school system. Instead of writing a fun story, I was forced to write a story suited to my teacher’s needs. Even in high school, when you get to “pick” your topic, it’s usually set within a boundary of some sort. On top of that, you’re always writing to the teacher’s specifications, to the “code of good writing.”

The same could be said for art. A book I’m reading called “Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance” talks about this in great detail. The author, Robert M. Pirsig, was a professor of rhetoric at a university in Montana in the 50s or 60s. His biggest argument was that the “university” as a structure (or system, or …) was destroying the university as a spreader of knowledge. He felt that he was unable to teach real material because the university was requiring a specific syllabus, a structured class. It was “Stick it to the man,” in one of its earliest senses.

I certainly believe that this creativity can be gained back. Keeping up with this blog, playing piano, or some of the sketching I’ve been doing while bored in class may help. (Even as I search for a creative close to this, I can feel my creativeness flailing inside.) Here’s to hoping that flailing turns to jumping.

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