The Creative Cat

A New Year’s Resolution from Leo.

Allow time and space in your life for playfulness and creativity to flourish.

One of the most endearing qualities of my cat, Leo, is his playfulness, and it is here that he shows his natural creativity. He gambols, he leaps, he somersaults, he does bunny hops, rolls on his back, and shoots like a rocket through his favourite toy, a long tunnel originally designed for toddlers to crawl through! He is a vaudeville artist!

His range is great, and affords me much entertainment and amusement. It is a characteristic of the Cornish Rex breed to continue in playful behaviour well into old age, so I can look forward to years of fun and laughter.

I feel that there is something very important we can learn here from our feline friends. We are at our most creative when we are being playful, and the longer we can indulge in play, and enjoy a sense of the ridiculous, the more likely it is that we will stay in touch with our creativity throughout our lives.

Creativity and playfulness go together. Let us not forget that we ‘play’ the piano!

Jazz musicians enjoying a jamming session seem to be able to allow their instincts and their fingers the freedom to wander, spontaneously exploring new avenues and sounds, playfully improvising, with smiles breaking through as they happen on a magical phrase or harmony, which emerge as if by magic. Of course, this can only happen if the skills and deep knowledge of one’s subject are in place. Then the creative instinct draws on this treasure trove and plays with it. The creation of something new is not accomplished by the intellect, but by the play instinct acting from inner necessity.

Creativity and playfulness go hand in hand, and a wonderful example of this was the late, great comedian, Ken Dodd. But always underlying his exuberantly playful performances was a lifetime’s intensive study and mastery of his art.

The very different humour of the creators of Monty Python apparently emerged in free-flowing riotous rehearsals, where nothing was off limits. John Cleese, one of the brilliant team, observed: “The essence of creativity is not the possession of some special talent, it is much more the ability to play.”

“The creative mind plays with the object it loves.” Carl Jung.

“To myself I seem….like a boy playing on the sea-shore…. diverting himself and then finding a smoother pebble or a prettier shell than ordinary, while the great ocean of truth lay all undiscovered before me.” Isaac Newton.

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