My friend is a wonderful photographer. It isn’t just his technical skills which are highly developed. It’s his ability to frame a photo so that it speaks to you that is breathtaking. In his self-deprecating way, he would probably say that it’s the camera doing most of the work. Nay, I beg to differ. His gift is to see the beauty around him and it is inspiring. I am particularly in awe of the way he uses the lens to capture the minutiae of the subject at hand.
Recently he photographed a bluebottle, lying innocently on the beach. This seemingly innocuous creature is a curse to the Queensland swimmer; plentiful on our beaches when the northerlies blow, the sting in its long tail lasts long after the joy of hitting the ocean has left you. No one who has swum at our beaches is immune and there are many who gleefully jump on their bloated carcass as it lays washed up on the sand.
Yet my friend’s photograph provided a sublime glimpse into this scourge that many wouldn’t have seen or taken the time to notice before. The delicate curve of its translucent body, the depth of the ink blue lines that traverse its body, the long trailing tail spread like an anchor along the sand, the gentle foam of the sea as it lapped its decaying body. Never before has a stinging pest looked this beautiful.
I am in awe of his creative talent and the beauty he sees in the everyday. I love the mindfulness his photos arouse and the perfect capture of the moment. I love that he shares these photos on social media, not overly concerned about their use or those who appreciate his talent reproducing them. He does this all for the joy of sharing this moment of creation.
This word “create” has been at the forefront of my mind of late and my current aim is to bring this creativity to everything I do. Over the Christmas break I read Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert of Eat Pray Love fame. It’s an easy read, full of ideas on how to blissfully live a creative life. The clear message I took from it is to say yes to creativity in whatever shape or form that looks like for you. There is a divinity in accepting creativity when it comes knocking on your door and a peace that comes when you acknowledge its presence in your life.
It doesn’t have to be a Van Gogh moment either; although if you do have that raw talent, please do this tired, cynical world a favour and get that art and beauty out there for all to see. The exquisite part of creativity is that it can be in something as simple as living a mindful life, being the best version of yourself and showing up for whatever life throws at you.
For example, today I was lying on my bed, trying to meditate albeit in a puddle of sweat (sincere apologies for that visual, dear reader) when there was a knock on the door. As I made my grumpy way to the front door, I was greeted by a smiling Irish lass from Belfast called Mary. She was dressed in a vibrant pink shirt, bottle of water in hand, seeking sponsorship for the National Breast Cancer Foundation. In my semi-conscious state I probably wasn’t the most inviting of hosts but a few minutes of chatter morphed into 2 hours of convivial company that still has me smiling. This interlude sprung from a completely unexpected moment. Yes she had a mission to secure sponsorship and yes she wouldn’t be doing this role if she weren’t a lovely young woman who knows how to talk to people. The delightfulness of this exchange was in its unexpectedness. A simple transaction became a wonderful chance to share stories and create a moment that will linger with me long after it has ended.
This is the beauty of living a creative life. This is the excitement of being open to all the possibilities the world has to offer. Never forget that you are the greatest work of creativity you’ll ever know and you are always changing. You are a splendid work of art, deserving of nurturing and enriching. Seize these unexpected moments of creativity, hold them close to your heart for as long as you need, then unleash them back out into the world so that we can all share in their beauty.