Friday, 11 May 2012

The Mystery Of Creativity (and boxing butterflies)

Someone once said to me there are two types of mind. One like a filing cabinet, which files away information neatly and in an ordered manner, ready for retrieval when needed. He said there is also another type of mind, which is not orderly, but is like a head full of butterflies fluttering round sometimes getting things right but not always remembering things when they were needed. He said that he was like the filing cabinet and that I was like the butterflies and that he would rather be like he was than having the chaos of the fluttery mind.

After I removed my hands from round his throat I sat and wondered if it was really an insult. I can’t disagree with the fact that yes, I do fit the description of a person with a head full of butterflies. I can remember facts, sometimes and usually half an hour after it was needed but I can’t say I can confidently extract the right file from an orderly section of my brain. I do understand difficult concepts but the words I require to contribute to an in depth discussion are usually on the tip of my tongue and the conversation moves on before I can relocate the information and articulate it. Sometimes I can but this is not something I can do regularly. But I can confidently say that I am more creative than the person who gave me this analogy.

It is said that creativity is when two completely unrelated ideas collide to create something new. Now, yes of course, in all likelihood there are folk who have a filing cabinet surrounded by butterflies, but I am not one of these people.

In deep discussion on another subject I will pipe up something tangentially related and people will give me that look. They look at me as if I’ve just thrown a cabbage on the table and asked them have they met my new 'friend'. Sometimes people think it’s a great idea and sometimes it looks like a contributing factor to getting me sectioned. I can’t help it. Even my own husband has to check where in the conversation we are I jump around so much.   But the butterflies are what make creativity possible for me. One will pop to the surface of consciousness randomly with a gem of an idea “There you go madam, here’s a bobby dazzler” (My butterflies are northern) and scoot off again. They are not usually at my beck and call either. They sometimes abandon me. But they come along now and again when I write. Sometimes they will have something useful, sometimes it will be a re-run of Prisoner Cell Block H.

I will always envy those with perfect retrieval, but how can you make new connections when it’s all filed neatly in alphabetical order? You need some butterflies in there.  A load of butterflies flying round in a small space, chances are they are going to collide quite a bit, and create some new ideas. Then one will pop to the surface saying “He just hit me it’s not fair!” and bring with him a glut of information, and possibly get you in trouble.

Life’s much more interesting with a bit of chaos.


Danielle Rose said...

"There you go madam, here’s a bobby dazzler"

why does this sentance make me think of an dold man wapping out his cock.

I'm full of butterflies like you, who would want to be anything else. Boring minds make boring people x

Lindsay said...

"wapping out his cock" hahahah! little buggers got you as well!

Nikki Magennis said...

My butterflies are mostly very drunk.

Lindsay said...

Nikki that means you have some great ideas, I know I collide more with objects when I'm drunk.

Louise Barklam said...

Great minds think alike .... that's what they say isn't it? I think my earlier message to you today can verify that I can fully sympathise. Lol. Don't know if mine would qualify as butterflies though, more like moths. ;-) x

Ashley R Lister said...

Butterflyling Cabinets?

As always - a brilliant post.


hdfhtrd said...

I love butterfiles (not a typo), I love the photo and I love this post.

Dani, your comment is beautiful and makes my curry creep back up by throat to say hello.

Just to stretch the analogy further...If we have butterfiles in our brains, does that mean we ate caterpills?

vicky ellis said...

Sorry, that last comment was Vicky. Ra was signed in :)

Adele said...

i think mine are moths. Big ones too judging by the size of their balls.

Camelia Aprile said...

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