Updated: Nov 23, 2020
“I'm pretty sure it was right down this corridor,” I thought as I passed the classroom doors. “Third class on the 4th floor,” I repeated to myself. I stopped when I read, “4c” printed on a doorway.
I opened the door as the welcoming voice of the teacher graced my arrival, “Why are you late Mr. Smith?".
"It’s just that all the classrooms look the same, Mr. Garibaldi."
"Grab a seat."
I took a seat and read the words written in bold on the blackboard - 'Creativity 101'.
I looked around the classroom and counted roughly 28 students, all of whom had been pierced, accessorized, and tattooed from the tips of their mohawks to the rings on their toes. I breathed a sigh of relief, realizing that I was probably in the right place. Creative people have to, very rightly, dress creatively too. I had seen them before, obviously, but never all together in one place. Now it seemed that their supposedly different differences were a little similarly similar.
The professor finished writing whatever he had to on the board and stepped away. It was a quote that read -
"One original thought is worth a thousand quotes"-Kabelachi
It seemed to be a quote by a philosopher of some sort. Suddenly, there was a scrambling as all the students pulled out notebooks and borrowed pens as they noted down the wisdom that was presented before us. It seemed rude not to follow suit so I took it down as well.
"I'm here to teach you the ten steps of creativity," Mr. Garibaldi began. "I've created this creative course for creatively learning creativity, of course," he added, with shoulders bared and head held high.
There was a light applause during which I took the opportunity to sneak out of the classroom and tried finding creativity elsewhere.
That was my attempt at satirizing an attempt at creativity which brings me to my question- ‘Where do we look for the most elusive element of any art form?’
Is it even possible to find and present for public appreciation?
A beautiful and completely original thought sometimes presents itself, like divine intervention to a dewy-eyed human being who, in all his clueless wonder, grabs a pen or canvas and makes a copy of his observation. Even then the idea is merely a replication of an influence, or rather a multitude of influences which produce a different seat number for the same three-act structure of the same romantically comic film. Each of us could just be an innocent domino tile in a pattern of falling pieces. Maybe we aren't aware of the pattern but we still continue to be a part of it. We don’t have the same numbering as the domino before or after us, so we assume we are different and take pride in the 5 white dots that define that difference, but our direction is what we should be proud of and that is simply a cause and effect domino defect.
But the pursuit of ‘original content’ will never stop and never should stop for the simple purpose of finding what you need in the wreckage of the futile attempts of looking for what you want. This effort, like any other Sisyphean task, has the unfortunate potential side effect of madness. Running after the hints and suggestive whispers of a creative lead will leave a person oblivious to the dangers of disappearing down a rabbit hole as he consumes cakes and pills with promises of leading him to the world of Cheshire cats and Jabberwockies, only to wake up the next morning in the Land of Oz. You can’t breathe on the other side of the rabbit hole and that takes a toll, so if you can make your way back and release the breath on canvas, you will lose a little bit of the man who jumped down the rabbit hole, but you can stand ideally while the domino tiles “oo” and “ahh” as they flock from all around to see a piece of ‘creativity’.