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Picture Book Look

Patricia Heaton – on creativity

on January 26, 2015

“Most creative people have a deep spiritual well that they’re drawing from even if they don’t know it. The arts are being creative–I mean, God is a creator, he creates constantly, and when you’re in a creative place like Hollywood, there’s a lot of opportunity to talk and share and find common ground.” Patricia Heaton, in an interview with The Blaze.

“God is a creator.” Hmmm, no argument there. “Created” is the fifth word in the Bible. Who created? God created. He is a creator, he creates. We are fashioned in his image – therefore, we are creative! But, I’m getting ahead of my story. So, to start closer to the beginning. . .

I was blessed to be born into a family of creative people. My father painted pictures and crafted waterfowl out of blocks of wood. My mother restored old time metal and wooden chests with tole painting. My sisters, as I’ve often said, can take a flea market or garage sale and create a room that would rival anything Martha Stewart could come up with. And, therein lies the problem.

As a young teen, I was surrounded by all of this creativity. At the time, I had no spiritual reference for it, in that my family was not a church-going family. All I could see was that crafting and creativity seemed to come easily to everyone except me. The climax of the problem came in 7th or 8th grade when my Home-Ec (what would now be called FACS) teacher assigned a simple sewing project. I don’t know what our choices of projects were; I only remember buying a piece of bright pink fabric with whimsical print and attempting to fashion it into a pair of pants. Of all things.

Now, not to digress, but my mother was also an amazing seamstress. She could cover buttons and place zippers effortlessly. Her work was so good that I loved wearing outfits she had made. Even as a teen. And so, as you would imagine, ¬†when my Girl Scout troop was looking for a leader to teach the sewing badge, Mom volunteered. And of course, I was one of the students in her class. The only one that flunked! And she didn’t flunk me because she expected her daughter to do better than I had. No, she flunked me because I stank at sewing!

It shouldn’t come as a surprise, then, that the day came when I exited my school bus, fabric and notions in hand, and ran home, throwing open the front door – completely exasperated. Seeing one of my sisters sitting across the room, I hurled everything her direction. Notions, fabric and all! And I also screamed something. I don’t remember what exactly. Probably wasn’t worth repeating anyway, but you get the idea. I was giving up. I’d tried and found that I wasn’t creative. Now I was tired of trying. So, I was done. No more. Just done.

And there it was. The beginning of the lie. The lie that I was not creative. That I couldn’t do it, whatever “it” was. It didn’t really matter. I wasn’t going to try and it was actually easier to just tell everyone, including myself, that I wasn’t creative. And that was that. For the next 25 years.

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