When do we lose our creativity? At what age do we stop seeing possibility, and start only seeing what’s being shown and fed to us?
I was at a neighborhood park today and it was packed. The swings were swinging. The teeter-totter was teetering and tottering. The jungle gym was…jungling.
The water fountain had a line of kids filling up water balloons. They were filling them up, inventing games and having a great old time. The buzz was palpable.
I looked a little more closely, and realized the water balloons weren’t actually water balloons. They were plastic bags. They were these weird, green plastic bags, and all the kids had them. And then I realized what they were.
Some kids were using them as water balloons. Some kids were using them as makeshift water-transfer devices, to carry water from the fountain over to where they were making dams and rivers. Some kids were chasing each other with them. One little girl was using hers as a Zen paintbrush, the small leak in the bag drizzling out a small stream of water, with which she was drawing ephemeral pictures on the sidewalk.
Note to self: Remember to look for opportunities that are possible, but not obvious. Remember that because something has an “intended” purpose, that doesn’t mean that it’s its only purpose. Remember to create new things out of old.