There are many people out there with unconventional views about life and the world. Fortunately or unfortunately, I like them. Or in other words, I can understand them better. Or maybe it’s easy for me to communicate with them.’ Birds of the same feather flock together’ theory I guess.
If you really study their life history, you will come to know that they have always been different from others since childhood in some or the other way. They have always preferred their work or hobby or interest over socializing. They got bored soon if they spent time with others. They are in their own world of hopes and dreams.
People call them crazy, eccentric, waste character, gone case etc. Most of them were not accepted in the society where they were born. Many of them were exiled. Some put behind bars. Some murdered. In many cases, their work was appreciated more after their death and they become cult figures.
This is what really happens to an eccentric (What society calls) highly creative person, according to many studies …..
So many signals reach the human brain through the sensory organs every minute, every day. ‘Normal’ people are equipped with some mental filters and they accept only whatever they need and ignores information that is irrelevant to their current goals or survival. If they pay attention to all that they receive through their sensory organs, they will be overwhelmed!
But for creative people, those filters are not functioning effectively. They store every information coming through all sense organs, in a Kutty (Small) place in their brain, heart, pancreas, rented warehouse or wherever and later, may be after many years, they take it out, reprocess and make something out of it, resulting in creative ideas.
Okay, our eccentric creative person can be highly functional in certain areas but considered a failure in many others. In fact, many of them score’s less in IQ tests than a normal person. For a small simple question, they will be having many answers and theories. Their mind wanders to places normal people never would imagine and finally come up with many possibilities. They can also be very damaged in their personal life and still create an art that could be considered valuable. They are also in moral dilemmas I assume because at times they getting into issues with the sensor board or moral police, all over the world. Not only in India.
Why the moon is round! That question was asked by my Dad’s elder brother who was a highly creative, thinker and a hopelessly romantic person in our family. He used to ask all these kinds questions and some of my relatives used to the fun of him on his philosophies and theories. He used to be a good storyteller. He had his own opinion on everything.
In college and after that, I met and spent a lot of time with creative people. Professional Musicians, Music Directors, Artists, Photographers, Fashion designers, Graphic Designers, the cinematographer who won state award, Singers who won state awards and one thing I noticed about them is, they are in their own world. They are not really worried about this so called ‘Rat Race’. They are sensitive and emotional too.
I did a course in photography under this cinematographer, in 2004. It was nice listening to his stories. He would explain everything with so many examples and comparisons. We used to go for the outdoor shoot. He would find some interesting things to capture, like 25% of the frame some corner or edge of the terrace of some buildings and the rest all blue sky with clouds. He is always in a dream world. When I asked him why he is not driving, he told he may not be able to drive because his mind will be on the beauty of landscape , architecture, plants and grass on the roundabout , people walking on the footpath, different colors of cars on the street etc. In short, he cannot concentrate on driving.
I had a 40 something-year-old European student. He is an Artist. He was so calm and quiet. While sitting opposite to him and teaching, I could see his mind going somewhere. He will be thinking about the beauty of the guitar, the chairs and how the books were kept on a notation stand…. I had many talks with him regarding his creative process. I was really fascinated the way they start their work and come up with something so interesting to watch.
Same with the music directors and others I have worked with. Since I know them (Creative people), it is easy for me to understand their views. There is a kind of childishness in them. They get so excited and happy when they see something so simple. They are little slow (Not all of them). They are mostly peace loving. They might argue, but nothing serious. Their fights are like those of kids and for silly things (For us).They look the world in a different way perhaps….
If they are put in a group discussion situation or anything surrounded by normal people, I am sure the normal people would think they are ‘Tube Lights’.
Once my ‘why the moon is round’ uncle came to stay with us for a couple of days. He forgot to bring his toothbrush. So I went out and bought one for him, early in the morning. I got really embarrassed after giving him the brush because he made a story out of it. He said that is the most wonderful thing he has received as a gift, He would think about me every day, first thing in the morning….etc . And he would tell this to all he met that day. I mean, he would express it in a very different way than others. That was too much for a 14-year-old to handle. Especially, when I am not even used to elders saying thank you to me for anything. Times were different. Thank you, sorry and love you were used very rarely those days. 1986 India cannot be compared with 2015 India.
But now I understand the views of my uncle very well. I can relate to it. Today I feel, he was inside a wrong group of people who never really appreciated his views and thought and they never allowed him to grow or fully express his creative side.
Hopefully, someday we will understand them and leave creative souls alone and let them do what they like; Counting stars or let them sit there watching grass grow!
The truly creative mind in any field is no more than this: A human creature born abnormally, inhumanly sensitive. To him… a touch is a blow, a sound is a noise, a misfortune is a tragedy, a joy is an ecstasy, a friend is a lover, a lover is a god, and failure is death. Add to this cruelly delicate organism the overpowering necessity to create, create, create—so that without the creating of music or poetry or books or buildings or something of meaning, his very breath is cut off from him. He must create, must pour out creation. By some strange, unknown, inward urgency he is not really alive unless he is creating – Pearl S. Buck