Sunday, October 27, 2013

Creativity and Order (or How I've Been Pulled Apart by a Rabbit)

There are times - even in the best of marriages - when you can hardly live with each other, but you know your life would be empty and meaningless if you were apart.  Creativity and Order are married, and that's pretty much how they feel about each other.  

For the sake of personification, I'm going to refer to Creativity as "she" and Order as "he" - probably because my father was a meticulously organized man; and although my mother was pretty well organized, she was willing to put up with a certain amount of mess for the sake of progress on a creative project.  But if you want to think of Creativity as masculine and Order as feminine, go right ahead.

As individuals, I think we all have a creative side and an orderly side.  Creativity in some people is dominant, and they don't pay much attention to Order.  They are happy creating in the middle of a perpetual mess.  In other people, Order is dominant, and Creativity is squelched.  These Order dominant people are happy in their pristine, uncluttered, highly organized environment where very little, if anything, is ever created.  The Creativity dominant person and the Order dominant person live very different lives, but they are both content with their circumstances.

But then there's the hybrid - and I'm one of these - in whom Creativity and Order are pretty well balanced.  Hybrids often suffer from inner turmoil.  After all, Creativity just wants to create.  She's got a kajillion ideas running around in her head, and she wants to implement them.  She feels like time spent organizing is taking away from the time she could spend on her numerous projects.  On the other hand, Order likes things to be tidy - really tidy.  He tries to talk Creativity into neatness by telling her she will be able to find her tools and other supplies easier if things are organized.  She knows this is true, but she suspects that Order doesn't really care if any projects get done or not as long as everything has its place and stays there.  Needless to say, their relationship is rocky.

A few days ago, my own inner Order got the upper hand, and I started doing some straightening up in my sewing closet.  I came across a plastic bag on a high shelf.  In it was a naked stuffed bunny with very long ears and a cute embroidered face.  Included in the bag was the pattern I had used to make the bunny as well as patterns for the bunny's clothes.  The clothes - pantaloons, dress, and apron - were cut out of coordinating fabric and neatly organized with the instructions.  I had written the date on the pattern - November 10, 1992. I don't remember exactly why this project got put on the back burner; but when I found it, Order was soooooo proud of how well organized everything was!  Creativity was downright mad!  Who in the world takes 21 years to finish a simple stuffed bunny project?!  Creativity is now busy at the sewing machine and will have the upper hand until that naked bunny's clothes are finished.

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