Following the Creative Path - Flying like a Turkey
Last week I narrowly avoided a head-on collision with a wild turkey. He appeared suddenly on the shoulder, emerging for a brief flight to cross the road. This was my first close encounter with a wild turkey, let alone one that was actually flying. I was struck by how his ability to fly was so different from that of other birds. He wasn’t fast but unhurried, almost in slow motion. His movements weren’t elegant like those of a soaring hawk, but were instead deliberate and purposeful. And, he didn’t swoop and soar high above my head but instead he remained no more than four feet above the ground (in fact I had to hit the brakes in order to avoid hitting him).
My encounter with the turkey was over in a few moments, yet I thought about its slow, unrefined flight for the rest of the day. It reminded me of the ebb-and-flow of creativity. Creativity is rarely about flashes of brilliance or soaring high with an unending flow or fresh new ideas. It’s often about the daily grind of showing up and wading through the muck and mire. It’s about doing and making and then undoing, redoing and starting over. And sometimes it’s about changing directions completely. There are many days when my creativity seems more like the slow and awkward flight of the turkey when I’d rather being soaring like a hawk. Acceptance and trust have become central to making it all work. I’ve come to accept the daily pleasure of being part of the process and trust that it’s all part of how creativity happens. By being kind to myself, I can move ahead with greater ease and comfort. The journey is just as important as the destination.