A few years ago when I was in the middle of the editing process of my novel (http://www.dancingwithsilence.blogspot.com/) my sister sent me 2 framed pieces of Chinese calligraphy. The one I have positioned on top in my study is in the "portrait" direction and says DREAM, and the second, on the "landscape" horizontal plane says PERSEVERANCE. What a perfect message to send to anyone who is in the middle of a creative endeavour, where the perseverance needs to be supported by the memory that it all started with such an all consuming dream.
This was, to a great extent, much of Sally Melville's presentation on creativity at the Perth Manor on Monday. She reminded us how the dominant the bossy left brain is for most of us, always putting up the roadblocks to the fun that we might get out of trying new things, and seeing the world in creative ways.
With the help of some exhilarating hands-on practical exercises, we all got a chance to shake up our sleepy artistic right brains, and called upon them to see possibilities.
But Sally, wonderful teacher that she is, was careful to provide the balance that the message of my sister's calligraphy brought forth: there is only so far that you can get with inspiration without the perspiration.
A terrific idea for a sweater can only succeed with slavish devotion to planning, trying, checking, and sometimes starting over.
So a balanced brain would perhaps have the following conversation:
Righty: "Wow, how wonderful. I LOVE that pattern and I NEED to try it."
Lefty: "You think so, do you? And just what do you think your going to need to give up in order to knit this latest knitting seduction?"
Righty: "Whatever! I just have to try it. I could use this colour, and that texture, and I'm sure that I have something in my stash that I can add to it."
Lefty: "That may be so, but did it occur to you that I'm not at all sure that we need a 15th handpainted lace shawl? Uh, and by the way, don't you have a report that needs to get in before the end of the week."
Righty: "You always want to spoil the fun. I can do it. I have to make it. And besides, creative outlets are essential to life."
Lefty: " Yeah? I'm only looking out for the balance in your life. And I don't want to be the 1/2 brain that has to be looking for the new job when you get fired".
All that to say that no one has both sides of their brain in perfect balance. We all need to be aware of the gifts that the less-called-upon side can provide.
(Like how my creative problem solving right brain came to the rescue the other day when I accidentally added 2 tbsps of dried mint to my soup instead of 2 tsps of Italian seasoning. I scooped up as much as I could from the top of the pot and added lemon juice and called it Greek soup, featuring those wonderful flavours of mint and lemon that I've had combined in so many dishes at Greco's on Princess. Who could possibly argue that a creative mind isn't a darn handy thing to have around?)