Creative Stretch #6: Ignoring the Forest to See a Tree

By December 21, 2009 language No Comments

Creative Stretch posts encourage “the care and feeding of the imagination and the spirit” (Luci Shaw, Breath for the Bones).

We’re a think-outside-of-the-box society. It’s all about the big picture. It’s considered detrimental if you can’t see the forest for the trees.

Inside-the-box-thinking, small picture living, and tree observation supposedly get you nowhere.

I beg to differ.

Many are the treasures to be found in small places, in common places, even in scornful places. It is the artist’s job to search for these treasures and bring them to light through whatever medium that artist employs—writing, painting, singing, welding. The artist knows that outside-of-the-box-thinking doesn’t require you to get out of the box to have inspired thought. That’s what imagination is for.

Luci Shaw confirms this in Breath for the Bones, saying, “The poem is the little lens through which we can examine at close range the ‘insignificant’ details of the universe, which then provide us with a miniature window on the world” (174).

So from the box you are in—even this universe that contains us—what miniature world is begging for notice? Do you hear the story of the weathered bricks of your fireplace? Do you see the curled edges of a plant’s stem and leaf structure? Does the light bounce playfully off your water glass? Do have an encounter with a Twiddlebug or Who to share with us?

In this Creative Stretch, let’s think small in order to think big. Focus the lens of your creative eye to zoom in on a minute portion of this world, then give it light and life through your creative touch.

After you’ve explored previously overlooked wonders, be sure to share! Post it on your blog, and then paste the link in the comments here. And if you don’t have a blog, let me know—and I’ll feature your observation here at filling my patch of sky, in your very own post.

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