When she was a young girl growing up in the ’40s, my mom would cut out and collect the Prince Valiant comic strips from the newspaper. She’d stick them together to create a long roll and then, cutting out the back of a shoe box, scroll the comic to create her own little movie theatre – where she could watch the adventures of the prince and the tales of King Arthur.
We all create our own worlds of stories when we’re children. We have our own little movie theatres or games we play with our sisters and brothers, our friends. But somewhere along the way, life creeps in.
As a young man, my dad taught himself to paint with just a book and a box of oils – copying famous masters, until he became a talented portrait painter. His small portrait of my grandfather laughing is my favourite. But having four kids to raise, my parents didn’t always have time for their creativity – my dad went into sales, and my mom worked part time.
Yet, I still see her creativity at work – in the way she decorates her home, in the beautiful gift parcels she creates.
Sometimes I hear people say, ‘I lost my creativity’, or ‘I’m just not a creative person’. I don’t think this is true. We don’t lose our creativity – it sometimes gets lost under the burden of life, work, taxes, broken hearts, and unpaid bills. We just have to dust off and recover some of our memories – find the thing that used to inspire us.
Find your Prince Valiant. It just takes an open mind.
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