Wednesday, May 24, 2006
Creativity Over Pain...
This morning was horrid. I hate going to the dentist at the best of times. I’ve never frozen well and luckily my dentist here has a new technique that drills a tiny hole into the jaw and then puts the freezing in there where all the nerves are... but working on replacing a back temporary filling to put in something permanent did not go as well as the last time. Unlike the pain of labour, I had nothing productive to show for the suffering.
What I did discover, to my surprise, is that it is possible to think and be creative even in he midst of pain and tears. Thinking about a layout that I was wrestling with for this children’s book actually helped get me through the worst of the drilling. The author had a certain idea for the layout over a center page spread, but as I sketched it out, the perspective for the scene ends up being a bit too long and boring. I came back home after the dentist with my mouth still very frozen and throbbing to dive into thumbnails of other possibilities that took me almost through lunchtime. That was actually a good thing. Anyone who has ever tried to eat while the last traces of freezing is still wearing off knows just how messy things can get. Luckily there were no hidden cameras to catch this dragon drooling!
No wonder athletes are told to visualize a course or game in their minds. No wonder cancer patients try to work on positive images or imagine the battle going on in their cells being victorious. Our ability to imagine is one of the things that truly sets us apart from the other inhabitants of this planet. Our urge to make marks, tell stories, sing, dance and celebrate all that is creative makes us unique. It can lift us out of horrid times, give us hope that things can change and can soothe us in the midst of turmoil.
This is today’s lesson, learned unexpectedly. That amid the shifting pieces of pain in my kaleidoscope today, I could still find patterns of beauty, imagine other images and endure that moment until I could come home and feel healed just by picking up my pencil to draw a scene.