Expression through words

Written by David Everett

To start with I’ll allay everyone’s concerns.

With eight days left before we had to vacate (the house we were renting after it was sold) we got a new house and have now settled in there.

We need to cull a bundle of stuff as it’s a bit of a downsize but with the initial shock having now passed that’s actually a rather exciting prospect.

We just have to get creative with how we are going to do that though …

Yes, that really was a rather unsubtle segue into this month’s Alive theme but hey, it got from the initial housing reassurance to here so let’s just all nod and say ‘yea, that’ll do’ and carry on as though I had made a Shakespearian worthy link between the two subjects.

The term ‘creativity’ always brings artistic endeavours to mind: splashes of paint spread broadly across a canvas with a palette knife, a vibrant landscape created entirely from refuse, or the explosion of a new genre of music (to name but a few).

Some of this is beyond my comprehension (I’m looking squarely at you interpretive dance) while some I can understand and appreciate without having to read the background story on the card politely positioned in front of the painting.

Much like the term ‘hero’ brings to mind a battlefield encounter, or ‘dumpster fire’ of the current Australian political landscape, creativity seems intrinsically linked to the arts when in all actually it is present and essential across all fields of endeavour.

Certainly some discoveries or designs result from pure happenstance, observation or gradual refinement, however the vast majority are a result of someone’s creativity when considering a problem or task. Engineering, science, maths, sports, IT, architecture and so forth, this list of where creativity happens is almost never ending.

Now when it comes to me, as my tales and thoughts in this column often do, I don’t consider myself overly creative, at least not in the artistic field.

My skills at drawing have hardly developed beyond my preschool achievements, my ability to compose music never gets beyond the first bar before I’m ripping off some pre-existing tune that was sitting in the back of my mind, and my dancing is best described as ‘variations on theme’ rather than something unique.

A big part of this I attribute to my being aphantasic which is an interesting sounding word that means ‘a complete lack of mental imagery. I don’t have any! Not a lack of imagination, I’ve got that in spades, I simply have an absolute inability to create mental images. Nothing, nada, zip, it’s all black when I close my eyes. My mind’s eye is blind.

Writing though doesn’t demand functional internal imagery and that’s part of why I enjoy it so much.
I get to create something relatively unique and in a style of my own. My writing isn’t laden with verbose descriptions and I don’t do ‘serious’ too well but I like that as it reflects me as I am and follows my own creative process.

I’m good with the spur of the literary moment, after that first line springs to mind it runs wild from there. Birthday cards are a favourite for this, I write whatever first springs to my mind in regards to the event and from there it’s a flurry of writing that ends up in a point not expected, potentially unrelated to the initial starting concept and takes up both sides of the card.

Creativity manifests in many ways and this is mine. Well that and amateur graphic design.
Anyone with a passing knowledge of karate would recognise any number of my moves as techniques lifted from kata with a bit of boogie thrown in.

I hold a genuine fear of having to describe my wife or children to a sketch artist knowing full well that the result is going to look like an emoji with hair of indistinct style because I can’t picture them in my head to provide a description or comparison to what they are trying to create.