I was having fun last week scanning some old photos and it got me thinking about how it is that my desire to attempt to live a creative life runs like blood in my veins. And I came across this photo. To me, it was a great example of how creative my parents were and still are. It is a christmas portrait of our family on my second christmas. A cute little tree and a cute little portrait.
When I started to look closely at the detail in the photo I first noticed our matching outfits. My mother made each of our outfits; dad's vest, my little jumper, and her own circle skirt. Mom's attempts later on to match my two sisters and I, whenever humanly possible, in clothes created by her are forshadowed in this photo. Well then I looked at the wall at the stockings hung in a row...all made by mom, quilted and embroidered. My Dad has set up the photo, using his camera and tripod with the timer carefully set. His care in arranging us and the camera for a family photo is an annual occurance. His enthusiasm for photography is something I share. Then in the background peeking out on the tree is a christmas angel that mom made, stitched and glued and placed on the small tree that dad must have chosen. Beyond just the chrismas trimmings visible there are gifts wrapped and tucked away that both of them have made from scratch. And of course waiting in an envelope is the illuminated letter written from santa/dad in a swirling script that would be repeated year after year for each of us girls. Those showers of creativity I grew up surrounded by have certainly influenced my view on the world. My parents set an example of the creative life both in their expressions at christmas and their vocational choices. Their example was learned by my sisters and I, and I hope that every time I hear fear sneaking into my conciouness to steal away a creative endeavor I can ignore it. This simple family photo reveals a glimpse of a lifestyle that carries with it a value higher than financial gains and retirement funds, spiritual enlightenment through creativity is something I believe in and I witness those efforts in my community of friends everyday.
Have you thought about family or innate influences on your creativity? Are your creative outlets something that was influenced by a particular person in your life? These, to me, are such interesting questions. And for those of you with children is setting an example of an imaginative, creative life a priority high on your list?