Creativity expressed through childbirth reveals the nature of Creativity in its purest form. Human beings have been reproducing for millennia, yet not one child has ever managed to exactly mimic another, not in thoughts, or genes, or mannerisms, or feelings, or life experience. Most parents find it amazing that their children are so diverse in spite of the fact that they derived from the same DNA pool. This is novelty at its best! The formula for making babies has been simple, unchanged, untampered with. That there is no end to this resource of Creativity suggests that there is also no end to the inventions and artistry that we Create. As a species, we continually master our Creativity through the cycle of life itself.
Scientists can pinpoint the moment an embryo’s fingernails sprout; ultrasound can observe the twitch of an eyelash; scales can measure the intake of nutrients to the newborn’s body; genes can be split to the chromosome and analyzed down to the molecule, but no one can explain the life force itself. Similarly, experts on Creativity can research the artists, interview the scientists, run brain scans on highly productive creatives, trace childhood histories, but no one can reach into the depth of what Jung calls the collective unconscious and determine its make-up or discern the Might which incites Creation. It is as profound as childbirth, an activity which once we are fully engaged in, eliminates our own will, providing a channel, like the birthing canal, for an idea to emerge, for insight to inspire, for beauty to be felt.
Once I experienced the overwhelming phenomenon called motherhood, I felt a deep satisfaction with my life. I had to wade through 13 daily dirty diapers and dustpans full of cheerios to find it, but contentment breathed in between the stacks of dishes and layers of snot. My crazy aspirations for artistic productivity seemed to disappear as each day managed to offer a fulfillment of its own. It’s as if I was content to connect with a higher Creativity, and abide in the kind of significance that reaches beyond time, generations, cultures, symbols.
When appreciating a great work of art, or piece of literature, one must take into account the historical references and cultural metaphors in order to properly interpret the work. But everyone recognizes the divinity of a baby and everyone reaches out in the supermarket or at the park to reflect on and recommence with that which has gotten lost in the shuffle of adult life. Babies, toddlers and children follow the heartbeat of Creativity—the imagination, and it isn’t until they grow up that they replace it with logic, systemized thinking, and safety. Only brave creative spirits break through the adult bondage of society’s sleepy train-rides to pioneer their own way. But babies remind us of what we once were, each one of us, and their slobbery reminiscence comforts us in the world of reason and daily grind, confirming that at our very core, our essence, we are them. If we don’t have the courage to become artists, or inventors, or writers, we can bear children. We can experience the enormity of inspiration and the grandest level of Creativity, and so we do.
Immediately following my fourth child’s first birthday, which punctuated the flow of my creative juices by way of human reproduction, I went out and bought a potter’s wheel.
“Why?” my partner inquired, lugging the enormous kick wheel from the truck with the help of two men. “You’ve never done ceramics a day in your life!”
“They gave me a good deal.” I justified. “And they threw in the kiln for fifty bucks.”
It was just my way of keeping the channel open.
~An exceprt from Maternallyours, a boutique book for Mother’s Day