The Nativity of Our Ideas
Many people around the world will be celebrating the birth of a babe in a manger this evening and tomorrow. Not the most auspicious spot to be born in, nor the best of timing, or circumstances… but that didn’t stop the child from arriving, or from growing up to do some fairly impressive things.
So it is with creativity. The creative impulse, or the birth of an idea, doesn’t need – and doesn’t wait for – perfect circumstances to manifest in the world. Although it can be very helpful for us to know what time of day we are most productive, or to establish spaces, routines and rituals to support the creative process, it is equally important to go with the flow when an idea decides to be born.
I do some of my best work at my kitchen table, while my husband is preparing dinner (I know, I’m blessed) and my children are playing in the next room. In fact, my time and resources are so limited these days that I’ve taken to using some very helpful tools to capture that moment of inspiration when it appears. I love 8×6 Miquelrius notebooks, as well as Moleskins, and always carry one around with me. I also love digital recorders… though lately I’ve been practicing with Dragon Dictation, an app on my iPhone that turns my voice into instant text. It’s not perfect, but it’s pretty close. I also use the Notes app – the one that looks like a yellow legal pad – to ‘scribble’ digital notes to myself.
To be sure, these are a lot more high tech than a manger full of hay – but the point is, instead of saying “I’ll do it when the time or place is right,” or “I’ll get to it when I have (insert your excuse here),” we can choose to be like that grateful, graceful mother so many years ago. We can say, “Thank you, this will do nicely. ” We can welcome the birth – the nativity, if you will – of our ideas, and we can nurture them to do great things, no matter how limited our resources may be. And you never know what gifts, or blessings, might appear as a result.