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A Creative Mind Is Like Disneyland Or Knott’s Berry Farm Or Six Flags Or Some Other Theme Park Of Your Choice

May 22, 2010

Finding oneself was a misnomer; a self is not found but made. • Jacques Barzun

In her book, This Is My Life, Meg Wolitzer (1988), makes this claim: “Everybody has a theme. You talk to somebody, and you realize that they have one particular thing that rules them. The best you can do is a variation on the theme.”

I’ve been talking with some very creative people recently and as I listen to them and their interests, I understand what Wolitzer is saying, but it’s not what I’m hearing. These highly creative people have multiple interests, multiple themes, and within each of these interests/themes exist variations. These folks are all creative, but creativity isn’t a theme by which someone can be defined since its proof of existence is in its representations.

Like them, I don’t have just one theme. I’m more like Disneyland. I’m a theme park with many lands, all united by their location within the confines of my mind. Their connections can be challenging for others to see unless I create paths among my mindlands. Frontierland doesn’t merge seamlessly with Fantasyland, nor does Tomorrowland seem to mesh with Main Street, but no visitor is bothered by these seemingly disparate representations if connections are clarified and elements of each overlap.

As with oh so many things, this is easier said than done. I see the interconnections, but they are not always easily explained. And sometimes, it’s too much trouble to try to articulate them for outlanders.

What is your theme? Is it a creative and cohesive singleness of purpose or do you have many lands in your theme park?

For if I try to seize this self of which I feel sure, if I try to define and to summarize it, it is nothing but water slipping through my fingers. . .This very heart which is mine will forever remain indefinable to me. • Albert Camus

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