So. On a whim (why do I do these things on a whim so often?) I signed up for National Journal Writing Month or #NaJoWriMo as the hashtag reads. I do journal as well as blog, but I honestly thought more of blogging these entries than anything else. And I might not respond to them all, but this prompt sounds a bit fun actually:
Describe your creative side. When I refer to creative expression, it can range from doodling in your journal, home decorating, creating a presentation for your job or organization, to singing, painting, or playing a sport.
Write as much as you can about the forms of creative expression that you regularly engage in. Go on to describe the history of your creative expression(s), and how you think your creative side is a part of your personality and outlook on life.
If you absolutely don’t think you have a creative side, write about how you would like to be creative, and what do you think is keeping you from being able to express yourself in creative ways.
So. My creative side. Writing, for one. Doodling. I do love to do knit, embroider, crochet and the likes, but I very seldom do any more. I’ve enjoyed quite a lot of handicrafts over the decades, I’ve made ”sameslöjd” i.e. the leather and tin-thread jewelry traditionally made my the Lapp people of the north, weaved baskets, took over the production of santa’s (knitted and mounted on a frame made by newspaper, they are quite special) from my paternal grandmother, actually made a shawl using needle binding (a technique that really only works rounds and round, not back and forth, but I sort of worked around that minor obstacle).
I sit here with a smile on my face, recollecting everything I’ve done over the years, using my hands. I do love to work with my hands, I must say.
But, lest I forget, I sing! I used to play the piano as well, but that’s something I’ve basically have forgotten. But sing, that I do. And have done, for as long as I can remember almost. Last weekend the choir I sing with went to UK for a small tour, and did our best-ever performance, in my mind. Tomorrow in the church in Husie we’re performing the same concert and I hope we will shine again!
Oh, and the photo books! And taking photos, of course. It would be really hard to make beautiful photo books without the photos to work with. I was just thinking that I would like to get started on the photo book from the summer vacation in France, on the Riviera.
So – what’s the story behind all these creative expressions of mine?
Well, there’s a lot of heritage here. My father (and brother) is a journalist and a writer. My mother is a great doodler, even though she denies it. Her mother was a skilled painter (and more at that!), and I love to have her paintings of me as a child up on the walls. My paternal grandmother have been prolific at handiwork, weaving, knitting, embroidering and so on. My father used to be quite an avid photographer, and my elder brother as well.
But the music… I really don’t know if there’s any heritage to speak of there. Hm. I cannot remember if anyone of my older relatives have sung in choirs or played an instrument. So whether or not they did, I guess it hasn’t really been a huge part of my upbringing. Except for my bonus father (for most of my childhood) and his mother, come to think of it, both of them playing the piano and singing. With his entry into my life when I was four, along came a piano for me to clonk on, and I think I started taking piano lessons around the age of 8 or so. I think I started taking solo singing lessons when we moved to Arvika in 8th grade, and I’ve sung in choirs since an even earlier age.
And there is one more thing, which for me is a creative expression even though it might not be what most people think of, and that is the art of preserving fruits and berries. Making jams and marmalades, jelly and saft (a Swedish type of berry/fruit drink, possibly most resembling the English term squash), and generally taking care of the bountiful gifts of nature is an art and a craft I love, and have loved since I was a teenager. And here I have both my grand mother’s as wonderful role models, and also my mother, since she retired.
And how is this a part of my personality and outlook on life?
Well. I never really thought about it in those terms. But of course it’s part of making me me. What I come to think of is my love for dance walking (I was one of the initiators of Dance Walk in Malmö in 2012, where we got hundreds of people to dance along the streets of our town. You can find me dancing away for a few seconds starting at 3:48 here and I still take solitary dance walks now and then when the urge overcomes me!). Perhaps that’s a good way to describe how my creativity is a part of me and how it forms my outlook on life?