I was pondering the etymology of the word “recreate” as I stirred awake this morning in bed. To recreate is to make something new. But I was thinking about it in the terms of a “recreation area” which we consider as a place for leisure and activity. Which made me think how important leisure time is and how important it is for one to take the time for leisure…AND how leisure time is necessary for creation.
Create…is to make something. I have always valued creating things. In every sense of the word. I feel alive when I create, I am forced to think, to learn. Whether that be the creation of an idea, a card for a friend, a cake, whatever but I think creating is so important, however; you cannot create something if you do not take the time to think about it. You can only think by simply being. Unfortunately, we are so “connected” and stimulated at all times—bombarded with the ideas of others—that we don’t have the chance to be creative. Creativity is “the use of the imagination or original ideas, especially in the production of an artistic work.” Being creative can be applied to all aspects of life: from the lunch you make for your loved ones and yourself to the way you present your class material to your students to the decoration of your home, apartment, or car. Creativity is simply doing something thoughtfully, as in, thinking about how the act you are about to do will make someone else happy. When I was in high school I used to bake cakes for everybody in my class’ birthday. It wasn’t really sophisticated cake-baking; my mom and I would buy box cake mix at the Albertson’s down the street when it was on sale and store it; I had a list of the birthdays of the people in my homeroom class and I would bake the cake and frost it, stick a candle on and we would constantly have celebrations. I remember making the batter the night before and thinking how happy the recipient would be the following day. Knowing the feeling of someone celebrating me, I could imagine the glee of the other person as someone (the whole class) celebrated her.
I guess the point of this post is to express the importance of disconnected time and the value of creation, creating something. I don’t care what it is, create a bouquet of flowers for your lover, for your mother. Create something beautiful for yourself, for your son. Whatever it is you wish to create, you need to take time to allow for creativity to come. Go outside, appreciate the way nature arranges the flowers, allow yourself to love the way the colors of the sky turn at sunset—maybe that will inspire your next painting, or the pillows on your bed.
The last point I wish to make is that it doesn’t have to be forever. The beauty of art is that, while it can be eternal, it is also beautiful for the moment. A baker may spend hours creating, frosting, and decorating a cake that will be consumed in moments. However, the time and effort spent into making that cake is not for naught. As they say, the journey is part of the destination. The process is just as important as the outcome. Make every process worthwhile and beautiful.