Thursday, February 7, 2008


I grew up thinking that we Caseys aren't creative. We can't sing. We can't paint. We can't dance. We are athletes, not artists. Stories were passed down from brother to sister to sister to brother about the indignities we suffered at the hands of the band leader and painting teacher. We actually wore our non-creative badge with a certain amount of pride.

Even when I started knitting, I didn't think of it as being creative. I was following patterns for goodness sake. That wasn't any more clever than reading a road map. Not only had I sipped the family Kool-Aid, I'd guzzled the entire jug.

Then I met my husband, the artist. He spends his days drawing and is very good at it. His perspective is that everyone is creative and has talent, it's just a matter of whether you work at it. The more you do it, the better you get. He uses running a marathon as an analogy. If you wake up one morning and try to run 26.2 miles, you probably won't succeed. But, if you run a mile today and a little further each and every day, before long a marathon will be within reach.

So, with a swift kick, gentle nudge, he embarked down the road of showing me all the things I do that are expressions of creativity.

One of the first things he pointed out is my use of color. When I said I was just following a pattern, he pointed out that it wasn't done in the pictured color(s). Then he would mention that there wasn't a white or beige wall anywhere to be found in our home. I've always felt that color was an easy risk to take. You can always repaint a room if it doesn't suit you.

Then we talked about cooking. I love cookbooks and have dozens of them, but there are very few recipes I follow as written. I always add a dash of this or a smidge of that. And while we have a full set of measuring spoons, I bet I haven't used one in 5 years. (Unless I'm baking, but that's a different story.)

Over time I've learned to appreciate the gifts I have. Coming here and working with yarn has certainly helped.

That said, does Michaelangelo need to worry about his place in history? Goodness no! But I flex those creative muscles every day. So when my sister tries to pass the Kool-Aid at the next family get together, I'm going to have a beer.

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