Creativist Tensions

July 29, 2010 Leave a comment

canvascanvas 1If there is anyone out there not aware of the Creativist movement, I encourage you to take a look and consider enlisting.  The Creativist Society has made a space for people to articulate their visions for society at its best with creativity as the core organizing principle.  The Creativist Manifesto is an invitation for people to think about what it would mean to be creators before being consumers, which catalyst Olivia Sprinkel presents as being one of the most important choices we can make.

I tend to agree with Olivia.  My move to the Boston area from Ithaca, New York a dozen years ago was significant in this respect.  In Ithaca I was struck by the number of people I met who were carving out unique and interesting lives, creating their own art in various forms, building intentional community and striving to live more sustainably.  In the big city, I’ve observed that people tend to lead more with being consumers or producers.  What has suffered in the process of this shift for me has been my own creative instincts, with implications for how I show up in different spaces.  I was interested to hear a validating story on this front from “The Moth” founder George Dawes Green, whose native southern storytelling practice began to slip away when he moved to New York City.  He responded in fine creativist fashion by starting his own club for raconteurs.

I am intrigued by the related choices that Olivia  calls us to make as we consider what it means to lead with creative intention in our lives.  There is an opportunity here to meditate upon these tensions and see where we tend to lean, what that’s all about, and what striving to be someplace else on the various spectra might mean for the work we do, the relationships we have, and the impact we see in the world around us.

Consume vs Create

Have vs Be

Alone vs Together

Fear vs Faith

Certainty vs Uncertainty

Movement vs Stillness

Decide vs Choose

Political vs Personal

Answers vs Questions

As I think about where I am now in my life with respect to my purpose, I know that there is more work for me to do around the tensions of fear/faith and decide/choose.  What about you?  Are there certain tensions that you are more drawn to than others?  What catches your attention?

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  • Gibran says:

    Your post deeply resonates, it is consonant with my idea of freedom – I think we are caught in a form of momentum, a sort of inertia that keeps a dying system moving towards its own death. It feels like in this context making the choice to create is a positive way of generating the necessary heat that it takes to shift direction – to create is to be aligned with our evolutionary thrust and I can’t imagine a better way of being free.

  • Curtis says:

    Thanks, G. I also think about the difference between creating and producing. The second leans toward the mantra of more. The first, for me, is about making space for things to happen. As you say, “To create is to be aligned with our evolutionary thrust.” I should also note that on her blog, Olivia also offers up freedom as a focus of meditation, which I know is true to your heart! I am also still thinking about my trip to that amazing permaculture garden yesterday. So many lessons there about what it means to be a co-creator and partner in stewardship. But more on that in another post!

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