What is creativity? The question seems so ominous now, like its answer is the secret password that will allow me to enter a new realm of understanding. Really it’s just a trick question, because despite whatever you may offer up as a definition you can never be ‘right’. Creativity is one of the most inalienable parts of our humanity, it is a combination of our ingenuity and empathy, with a dash of hope and few dreams thrown in for flavoring. It put men on the moon and the Mona Lisa in the Louvre; it also helped write a trillion 3rd grade book reports and fueled a trillion more garage band jam sessions. Creativity is what gets us past insurmountable obstacles and also what helps us make it through a particularly boring day at the office.
Asking what creativity is like asking what art is, or what the self is. It is anything to anyone, and no matter how similar you may be to another person, you two will never give the same definition for it. Creativity is whatever you decide it to be at that second, but blink an eye and just one second later it will be something different. Two days of essay writing led me to this point; that’s a lot of blinks. How would this essay be different if I re-wrote it right now? Would I have some new profound points to make, or would the differences be relegated to subtle changes in wording and grammatical tune-ups? I guess I won’t know unless my computer crashes and I have to re-write it all again, so for the sake of experimentation I think I’ll move my coffee cup to a little more precarious position on my desk.
~~ Tony Gualtieri