Tag Archives: nature

The Human Condition of Creating

One of the most endearing qualities we humans possess (to this speck of dust at least) is our passion and ability to create.  We are an amazing creature to be able to create the way we do.  We use our imagination in infinite ways to bring a new picture, or story, or gadget to realization.  But it’s not just the ways that we invent new things that make us creative – think of the way we create our ‘nests,’ by which I mean our homes.   We pay attention to every detail.  Not only do we want a specific color of curtain, it must also be the right texture. We paint trees and paw prints on the walls of our children’s rooms, with matching comforters and light switches.   Some of us even make sure the color of our Kitchenaid matches our kitchen theme.  While we’re on the subject of kitchens, there’s no greater place we love to create:  mixing new spices with traditional recipes to produce an original dish, making cupcakes in distinct flavors and colorful frostings, or adding a surprise ingredient to a tried and true soup.  One of my favorite observations about cooking is the intimacy inherent in this form of creating.  All that chopping and stirring and tending and measuring is done with care as we infuse our love with each twist of the spoon.  We don’t limit ourselves to creating in just the home however. There are the Steve Jobs of the world, the Richard Branson types who carry us forward, like da Vinci did during the renaissance.  These creators stand on the edge of everything we know and then have the tenacity (and audacity) to take us further.  Same goes for those daring astronomers and physicists who spend their dream time creating new ways for us to interpret our universe.  There are the designers who weave and sew in order that we may create a way of dressing that expresses who we are.  We owe our cultural fabric to singers and writers and painters and sculptors who somehow manage to capture a bit of the Universe for us with each stroke of the hand or movement of a note.  We owe our knowledge to those who have ever stood in front a classroom, creating an environment to challenge our minds and dig to the depths of reason.  Everywhere we look, we can observe ourselves creating in some form or another.  It is a beautiful sight to behold.

If we consider the thought a little deeper, we come to the conclusion that we can’t help but be creators.   We are born of creation itself, it is therefore in our very fiber to be creative – the old ‘acorn doesn’t fall far from the oak tree’ adage applies to us here.  If we dig deeper we can see a dynamic between the creator and the created, intimate and beautiful, a result of the fact that we are co-creating, working in tandem with the very universe that put us here.  Imagine – we are working side by side with Nature when we are creating.  Nothing is more terrible.  Nothing is more sacred.  There could be no greater act of worship.

So the next time you cook your family’s favorite meal, or dream up a new math formula, or pluck the next guitar string, or figure out a way to communicate with your sixteen year old for a minute – remember that you are creating, working with the universe, just as we were born to do.  Is there nothing more fulfilling in life?

Be Well…

Frankie


Being Human …..-ist

I describe myself as a ‘writer, thinker, humanist.’  The first two of these characteristics are inherent:  I have a passion for words, their meanings, and the limitless ways to combine them and my mind is ever questioning and curious. Being a humanist, however, took some thought.  It was a journey (a common one at that) from the myths and stories of religion to a broader understanding of my smallness in the universe, and the magic of human existence.  Somewhere along the way I fell in love with us, that is, I became a humanist.

 There is a lot to love about us I found.   Our actual existence is a feat worth mentioning for instance. Here we are, tucked away in some remote system, in one galaxy amongst a universe of zillions – and we manage to navigate our way to the top of the food chain where we’ve learned to manipulate Nature and escape our gravitational boundaries.   Our ability to walk upright, the refined development of our ‘pincer’ action (bringing together the thumb and the forefinger), and the emergence of a conscious have allowed us to plan, invent, and create like no other creature on this planet.  We’ve even managed to tame some parts of Nature order to improve our existence; horses, dogs, and agriculture for example.  We struggled through millions of years of ecological challenges in order to end up here – an immensely advanced animal.  Yeah, it’s easy to fall in love with a creature that displays such tenacity and willingness to push the boundaries.

Besides ‘just’ our existence, there are other reasons for my infatuation with humanity.  The resilience of the human spirit is an amazing trait.  Many of us have faced abuse, torture, illness, and injustice – yet we fight to live another day. Our ability to extend compassion is a rare attribute in the animal kingdom, and no animal manifests this more than us humans.  Every. Day. tales can be told of small kindnesses we share with each other:  one might help a complete stranger  retrieve a dropped something while another volunteers to babysit her best friend’s sick kid so she can go to work.  Our willingness to help one another is one of my favorite observations about us.  It gives me immense faith in our species.

Having faith in our fellow man is an integral part of being a humanist.  It is my opinion that we could use more faith in ourselves.  For some reason we seem reluctant to claim confidence in our ability to reason and do what is right. Maybe some of us haven’t fully realized our greatness within creation.  Many are still muddling around with the myths and tales of old, many of which convince us that we are inherently evil and have no redeeming value within ourselves – hard to be confident with that mindset.  The other issue is that such beliefs also insist that we deny ourselves any sense of confidence since to do so would be blasphemous against some higher being.  Yet, if we leave the old, stale narratives behind for just a minute we can observe in ourselves perhaps the finest innate characteristic of all:  we cannot help but ever come out on the side of right and good.  In all our stories, in all our movies, in the narrative of every single hero we’ve ever invented – good always overcomes evil.  Always.   We don’t know any other way to write the gig.  Sure evil has its moment, and sometimes we are led to a suspenseful scene when maybe all is lost.  But we never give up.  We never allow evil to win.  That’s why we can have faith in humanity, because we have a proven history of enabling right and good to prevail.  This is me, all doe eyed and love stupid, swept off my feet by our insistence that good always triumphs over evil.

Becoming a humanist was really quite an easy conclusion to reach.  We’ve come so far.  We’ve achieved so much.  We struggle through overwhelming circumstances and still come out victorious.   We support  and help one another.  We cannot even imagine a day when evil prevails.   I’d root for us any time, any where ….and that’s why I am a humanist.

Be Well!

Frankie