Monday, 17 July 2017

Thought Picnic: The flashes of creativity that die

Drawing from wells of nourishment
Creativity is like a flash of light, it might be a well sunk deep somewhere where the water your draw from it only comes in buckets that you sling down easily but draw up with much exertion and perspiration. At least I know that is it is not a running supply that delivers water to your sink as you turn the faucet on demand.
Yet, once you start to create, there is a zone of flow that appears to suggest you are connected to an inexhaustible pool of resources of deployment and expression, and that you must always be thankful for.
It died completely
Just under three weeks ago, I was writing a piece that was an appeal to the goodness and professionalism of someone else on behalf of my sister. I had completed the write-up and was just proofreading it when my computer died on me. I mean, died completely.
Now, for a while, I never thought of using a tablet device my main computing device, I had preferred lightweight laptops until at the end of November 2016, I went on holiday trialling a Galaxy Tab Pro S tablet device running Microsoft Windows 10.
As an entry-level low specification device with just 4GB of RAM and a 128GB Solid State Drive (SSD), I did not expect much from it that I had my laptop as a backup device, but I grew to love the tablet that it eventually became my main computing device as I eventually left the laptop untouched for months.
The voice that spoke in vain
On my last trip to Edinburgh, I had a deep premonition that I ignored, it suggested I take my laptop with me, but that required rebuilding the laptop and working on a few other things; that little voice does matter.
I had not saved the piece I wrote when my Samsung tablet died and could not be revived again. Taking it to the Samsung shop in Edinburgh, I was told it had to go for service and repairs, an arrangement I could complete in the shop and then have the courier come over to my Edinburgh office to pick it up.
For days, I monitored the service records that indicated the device was being repaired, then they were waiting for parts for another week.
The stand-in did not stand out  
Meanwhile, on the matter of creativity, it all seemed to dry up, the replacement, Samsung Tab A (2016, 7.0, Wi-Fi) was the least expensive stop-gap device I acquired in the Samsung shop because I needed to retain online communications. It fell short on one of the critical elements of transcribing the blogs that I usually write and format in Microsoft Word before pasting in the Google Blogger editor, but now on an Android device. The formatting did not keep and that was just not acceptable to me.
Recalling what I had written before I lost it was not easy. Whilst I could remember the context and the ideas, the first run that looked like it nailed all the points I wanted to express was not going to be like my second attempt, which I eventually published using my computer at work.
I pined and pained
The loss of my primary device, however, left me bereft of inspiration and without the ease of communication I was already accustomed to, I became a recluse of the mind, all dried up with a famine of ideas even if there was much to write about and there was.
On my last day at work in Edinburgh, there was much to close out, documentation, demonstrations and discussions, even that suffered from my inability to produce and excel. It bothered me so much that I had to step away from my desk a few times, in the hope that the changes in environment and engagement in other activity might trigger something.
The surprise that arrived
I arrived early and I was the last to leave because of this and then just after 2:00 PM, a phone call from the mail room informed me that I had a parcel waiting for collection. My Samsung device had returned even though I put on notice that I be informed before it was sent back, just in case I had left Edinburgh by then.
The motherboard and power port was changed per the information in the parcel, I cannot explain why the motherboard would just die like that, but I am pleased that the device was under warranty for the repairs not to cost anything, or at least the cost to me seemed invisible, apart from having to acquire a temporary device and then being unable to blog with a sense of flow.
To create again
I still struggle to get back into the rhythm of blogging and I know I would get back there because of all creative endeavours, that is the one I seem to be getting good at after 13 years of doing it.
Creativity is like a flash of light, if your eyes are closed you might not see it, if they are open and you are looking directly into the source of light, it might be blinding, else, it momentarily illuminates your surroundings and in that instance, if you can see, observe and perceive, you get a good idea of where you are and where to go from there.


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