Escapism and the importance of creativity

Creativity is critical to contentment. It makes sense when you think about it. This world is a thing of beauty, designed by the ultimate Creator. It is inspiring by its very nature.*

The joy of creativity is that it offers us an escape from the rubbish of this world by transporting us temporarily to another reality. Really good creativity returns us to our lives with either renewed resolve or at least a clearer perspective. A good book, film, piece of music or art all have the power to reach a part of us that is untouchable by the rest of the world.

I find my escapism in movies – it’s why I’m so interested in film production and why, when I was younger (and still today), I used to sit in the cinema and wait until all the credits had rolled before leaving; I wanted to see the names of the people who had created this story that had pulled me in and made me ponder life.

My husband’s creative outlet is writing and he’s outrageously good at it. When I read his words, I am transported to Cairo, to France, to a time when life was different; not necessarily better or worse, just different. As well as entering into another world, there are phrases hidden throughout his work that capture elements of life beautifully. Through artistic prose, he explains what usually cannot be articulated.

This realisation of the importance of creativity has been quite ground-breaking for me. As Elspeth Thompson writes in The Wonderful Weekend Book: “We neglect our creativity at our peril.” Whatever our medium, we are all creative – be it in an acknowledged art form or simply in the way we find solutions to problems and use our initiative. If we suffocate this instinct in ourselves, it can have quite grave consequences. I’d go as far as to say that neglecting our creativity can be one of many triggers of illnesses such as depression. When we’re forced to conform to a rhythm of 9-5, sat at a desk in an office, many of us are moulding ourselves into something we were not born to be.

It’s no wonder then, that when my previous jobs have narrowed the scope for me to use my creativity, I have very quickly grown bored, stifled and moved on. When I’m not allowed to use my brain, to find a way to practice my creativity, my inner calm becomes agitated and I look for ways to rediscover that balance.

I’m thankful that my husband realised all of this long ago and has been pursuing ways to use his creativity. He has rejected the contemporary lifestyle of 9-5 in favour of living a life that far closer resembles one that is lived to its fullest. He is embracing his God-given gifts and creative instinct and he has made himself and our marriage more joyous in the process.

*pun completely intended

Going to the pictures

I love going to the cinema. From a young age, you’d catch me at the end of the movie sitting quietly watching the screen, wishing my friends wouldn’t nag me to leave just because the movie had ended. I was waiting for the names of the people who had produced this piece of entertainment. From the director and producer to the composer, script-writer and trailer-maker, I was enthralled. I wanted to be a part of this world, not to star in it, but to be a part of telling the story.

It’s strange how things work out. I have spent time working in all areas of media production but I have never once spent time on a movie set or on any aspect of film production. It is still something that sits on my bucket list. When we were in LA I was more interested in visiting Universal Studios than I was in Disneyland. There is a magic to the movies. I’m not sure it’s the so-called glamour of Hollywood because the dresses and majesty of the premier hold little interest for me. I think it’s something about how words, sound and image can combine to evoke emotion and express ideas or hope that nothing else can. There are so many movies from which I have a favourite line or a favourite moment that represents a perfect coming together of all of these components.

It is something I’m as yet unable to put into words. The closest I’ve heard are the words of Arthur Abbott in the movie ‘The Holiday’:

I came to Hollywood over 60 years ago, and immediately fell in love with motion pictures. And it’s a love affair that’s lasted a lifetime. When I first arrived in Tinseltown, there were no cineplexes or multiplexes. No such thing as a Blockbuster or DVD. I was here before conglomerates owned the studios. Before pictures had special effects teams. And definitely before box office results were reported like baseball scores on the nightly news.

The only way I can sense the unexplainable wonder of movies is by actually going to the cinema. The clever writing, the use of music to enhance a moment, the beauty of a well-lit shot and the incredible skill required to weave it all together in a way that allows viewers to leave their seats and this world for a short while and enter into the story, are all magnified on the big screen.

There are a few movies that are coming out in the next few months I’d like to see:

  • Mr Holmes
  • Inside Out
  • Minions (seeing next week!)
  • Jurassic World
  • Spy

‘Going to the pictures’ is one of my favourite choices for date night. If I figure out what it is that makes my heart skip a beat and my eyes light up, I’ll let you know. If you don’t hear from me, I’ll be lost in the world of motion pictures.