Creativity: Listening for the heartbeat

A mother will always remember the moment she first heard the heartbeat of her child during her prenatal appointment.  This came with anticipation, expectation and wonder of the miracle within her.

This same life force is carried within all of us….for the zillion ideas that cross our path, and make our heart skip abit in excitement.  Imagine if we paid attention with a mother-to-be’s focus and expectation for the creation we carry in its infancy.  We must listen for the heartbeat….ours!  It comes at unexpected times – the light through the trees, the melody that pops into our minds, the color needed to complete the design project, the resolution to that nagging issue, the perfect plan to move forward on a project, etc.  They all are there, on our radar, if we look intently and in expectation.  And we can cultivate an awareness of that visceral reaction when we listen intently, when we pay attention.

I recently attended a local theatre community’s production of Working by Studs Terkel.  He was a master of listening; he roamed the country engaging a cross-section of Americans in tape recorded chats – about their dreams, fears, racism, courage, music – and then transcribed and edited them, to compile their oral histories in books that celebrated the common people, whom he liked to call the “uncelebrated”.  He first listened to this spark of an idea within himself, and then listened intently for the development of that first heartbeat, as he completed his many interviews, and eventually, his books; he heard and recorded a heartbeat of American people by first listening to the idea beating within himself.

Too often creativity is thought of only as the final product.  But it begins with a spark……..a listening for our heartbeat, in excitement for the potential of new life, a new creation, emerging from us.  And it’s no coincidence I speak of heartbeat, for this visceral reaction is most often strongly tied to what we love.  Shhhhshhshhhshh………listen!

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