So what does it give us?
I don’t want to prescribe because we’re each unique in our creativity and the benefits we experience. What I know and I’ve heard from others, is that our creativity connects us to ourselves and to others and if there’s anything that we’ve learnt from social distancing and isolation, it is just how much we need each other. We human beings are relational in nature, regardless of whether we’re introverts or extroverts. Through our creativity we show others what our world looks like; it ‘feeds’ us – being able to escape for a while from suffering means we can recharge our batteries and feed our souls.
We can play with ideas – the healthy form of “what if?”, which I know for some has led to discovering whole new ways of generating income for themselves. Things they may never have thought of or given space to bubble to the surface.
With the blossoming of nature, humanity, despite the COVID-19 crisis (in Chinese the word crisis is made of two symbol I’m told, danger and opportunity), is birthing or re-birthing our innate playfulness. That playfulness which helps scientists as they experiment seeking a vaccination against the virus; that helps the Chancellor of the Exchequer devise ways of supporting people made unemployed; that playfulness that urges a woman who lost practically all of her sight, as she climbed her staircase one day, to draw an image of what she can see when she looks through her window. Grayson Perry asked her if there was a message to share, yes, she said, take time to really see what’s around you… take it in… savour it.
I’m currently reading Blake Morrison’s memoir, The Things My Mother Never Told Me and I’ve discovered a new word, ‘oodling’. Morrison says, “… in a workaholic age like ours it’s good to be reminded of oodling. Do people oodle any more? Only poets, perhaps… Great poetry slows us down. It makes us concentrate on minutiae which prove on close inspection, less minute.”
I do not want to ignore the great fear and suffering lockdown has brought for so many, however, it is an opportunity to slow down and re-evaluate what’s important in our precious lives, our precious wellbeing.
Di Gammage is a registered Dramatherapist and UKCP Registered Child & Adult Psychotherapist
Find out more about Di Gammage and her work with Petros.