THE SYMBIOTIC RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN ADVENTURE AND CREATIVITY
Adventure: an unusual or exciting...experience or activity (Adventure, 2020).
“Porter and I are going on an adventure!” I tell my husband before heading out for a hike, run, or bike ride with our energetic double doodle. When tasked with writing an essay on the question “How does everyday adventure inspire creativity?” I pondered my usage of the ‘a’ word. Can routine outings to familiar places qualify as adventures? And if so, how does creativity fit in? In order to answer these questions, Porter and I headed out.
For Porter, every outing is an adventure. Her excitement is evident everytime she comes racing towards me to thank me for taking her. She uses all of her senses to gain new insights into the territory. Exciting- check. Unusual- check. For me, it is very easy to let my mind wander and enter into the same loop of thoughts that occupy my brain. However, when I’m in a more creative headspace- like when I’ve been devoting more time to drawing or jewelry making- I am much more attuned to my surroundings. To the various shades of moss, “Which shades of colored pencil would capture you best?” To the piece of seaglass, “Thank you for being my found treasure of the day.” A familiar outing becomes unusual and exciting. To that end, does adventure inspire creativity or does living a creative life inspire adventure? I would have to say both. No doubt there is a scientific explanation- neurons firing, oxygen flowing, or some such thing- but ideas, optimism, and motivation do spark when I am out and moving.
Adventure inspired my first children’s book. The idea came to me on a hike to my favorite swim spot when I heard a Quebecois family calling their dog in French. That day, Disco and Me: An Unexpected Adventure in Quebec was conceived. A lot of hard work ensued, including new adventures in order to get subject matter for the illustrations - like a trip to the Quebec Carnaval and to an out-of-town pub to see Quebecois musicians play. So one adventure led to a big creative endeavor, which then led to even more adventures. My latest project is inspired by an adventure I took in my early 20s, a nine month English teaching position in Guadeloupe. I hesitated including this piece of information here, because this does not fall under “everyday” adventure, nor is it recent, but then I read this quote by Eudora Welty: “The events in our lives happen in the sequence of time, but in their significance to ourselves they find their own order...the continuous thread of revelation” (as cited in Cameron, 1992). My takeaway is that one’s adventures can inspire creativity and manifest meaning and purpose at any time.
Porter and I are obviously back home now where I can put pen to paper, but earlier the crunching of snow under foot, the hallway of trees, the fresh air, and heightened pulse made the puzzle pieces of words of this essay take shape and come together.
Adventure. (2020). In Oxford Languages. Retrieved from Google search.
Cameron, Julia. (1992) The artist’s way: A spiritual path to higher creativity. G.P. Putnam’s Sons.