in pursuit of creativity

Habari-gani. Kuumba. Today is my favorite day in Kwanzaa: Kuumba which is Swahili for Creativity. I set my intentions on being creative today. I am a writer and as such, writing is the easiest way for me to be creative.

But it just wasn’t happening.

I followed my muse and ventured out into the world. I found it gray, drab, ugly and generally uninspiring. Following my muse led me to wind up in the Smokehouse on Shelby in Fountain Square.I sat in front of a half-eaten pulled pork sandwich, cold crinkle cut fries and a Coke, trying to figure out why coming back to Fountain Square was so damn important. Overly zealous for Kuumba I guess. I thought that coming down here would somehow magically open a creative door–a literal floodgate–through which every available profundity would flow.

Alas, it was not.

Instead it was just a gray, drab, ugly winter day spent on the south side of town.  One eyesore after another assaulted me on my way there and back home. The snow that has laid around way too long is dirty and muddy. It is a mix of leaves, gravel and DOT rock salt from spreaders that canvassed the city earlier this week. YUCK. UGH. ARRRRRGH.

I must have been hungry. That always gets my feet moving.

However, the Smokehouse on Shelby was of interest. Outside my window stood the  Fountain Square fountain, recently renovated and nearly ready to unveil to the rest of the world. The infamous statue is green rather than black (if i recall correctly) and the concrete abutment that surrounds the fountain seems different. How many millions of dollars did this take? Time will tell.

I was however inspired by the curiosity of an army of 10 or 12 young adults–black, white, male, female– marching South on Shelby Street shortly after I sat down to my lunch.  They were clearly going somewhere, watching the ground and not looking up, less like the tourist I was and more like natives to this strange land.  Forty-five minutes later, this army of  youth marched North on Shelby, retreating from their conquered hill. I wondered if this battalion of young people had chosen to follow their muse too, or if like me, there were simply hungry.

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One Response to “in pursuit of creativity”

  1. Hi. Was attracted by your use of Swahili. I’m from Kenya and have been speaking Swahili all my life. May your creativity-quest be realized even more in 2010. Endelea kuumba!

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