Sextant

sextant.jpg I am in one of those stages where I think it is the height of arro­gance to be always think­ing through myself and blog­ging about things I think or the way I think I think things. Yet I’m still doing it because maybe per­haps I will actu­al­ly fig­ure out some­thing new. Com­ing in to work today as I passed the steel mill, it’s heat bleed stack was afire and the sky was the col­or of a fresh bruise, dis­turbing­ly pret­ty.

I think it is fool­ish of me to think of myself as a writer, poet or artist of any sort because I pro­duce rel­a­tive­ly noth­ing. Even some­thing like thinker is inap­pro­pri­ate. I already don’t like labels because they lim­it more than spec­i­fy but map­ping my way through the morass of myself requires at least some sort of direc­tion­al guide.

I don’t think I am a cre­ator or cre­ative. At least not in the sense of most peo­ple who make or cre­ate things, be it poet­ry, paint­ing, pho­tog­ra­phy. I don’t think I have the spark for pro­duc­ing new and won­der­ful things. I think that I am more of a dis­cov­er­er than a cre­ator. A find­er. So when I write some­thing or take a pic­ture of some­thing, for me it is an act of dis­cov­ery more than cre­ation. I sup­pose this blog is a path to dis­cov­ery. This encom­pass­es both self-dis­cov­ery and reg­u­lar world­ly dis­cov­ery. I have said that I am inter­est­ed in all the things that peo­ple are inter­est­ed in. But I am also inter­est­ed in how I resolve my self in ref­er­ence to inter­ests and peo­ple and myself. This is quite con­vo­lut­ed.

What I am say­ing is that I do my best at dis­cov­ery and not cre­ation. I need a task to com­plete and I enjoy the process of com­ple­tion, but not the clo­sure of com­ple­tion. I’m not good at giv­ing myself cre­ative tasks, but I am good at tasks of dis­cov­ery. By good I mean I have the req­ui­site desire and abil­i­ty to com­plete a task that will teach me some­thing, but not the req­ui­site imag­i­na­tion to come up with some­thing to teach myself. What seems cre­ative is how I go about dis­cov­er­ing things. It is sort of a cre­ativ­i­ty by proxy. Some­thing I do might appear cre­ative mere­ly as a byprod­uct of a dis­cov­er­ing process. A poem about mas­culin­i­ty was the last thing I wrote, and it was assigned to me. I had to dis­cov­er both what I thought of the term, how I think oth­ers think of the term, the dif­fer­ence between the two and how to say that in mus­cu­lar poet­ic form. Sounds com­pli­cat­ed, but that is how I go about dis­cov­ery. And it is a bet­ter exam­ple of find­ing seams than I think I have tried to say before.

These dis­cov­er­ies are not specif­i­cal­ly meant for oth­ers. Above all they are to assist me in under­stand­ing me and my place with­in this place.

3 Replies

  • It sounds as though this Flori­da guy is broad­en­ing the appli­ca­tion of cre­ative. I’m more intent on mak­ing a dis­tinc­tion between the way I do things [dis­cov­ery] and cre­ativ­i­ty. The broad use of his term prob­a­bly suits his pur­pos­es admirably, but to me it is ham­mer when I want a scalpel.

    I don’t know that I would include a sci­en­tist, doc­tor or stock bro­ker in a ‘cre­ative class’ although they cer­tain­ly use their brain for a liv­ing. In fact, why does want­i­ng to use your brain need a pur­pose [i.e. to make a liv­ing]? I get the most use-val­ue from my brain when I rev it up for shits and gig­gles.

    Of course, I’ve not read any Flori­da, and haven’t been there in ten years, so my spec­u­la­tion is use­less.

  • Rise of the Cre­ative Class is one of the best non-fic­tion books of the past 5 years, if you’re inter­est­ed in progress, pub­lic pol­i­cy, eco­nom­ics, urban plan­ning, etc. You can bor­row my copy if you want.

  • Richard Flori­da would say you are cre­ative. Basi­cal­ly any­one who uses their brain for a liv­ing (or would like to, for those not employed in their cho­sen career) are the cre­ative class. Artists, writ­ers, musi­cians, etc are the “super-cre­ative core”.

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