UNFOLDMENT – Creativity And Coronavirus
Today my grandbaby is due.
My very first grandchild is expected to enter the world today. According to the doctor’s calculations and the multiple ultrasounds and the tracking of a woman’s cycle, today is the day. A glorious Friday in March, 2020.
Of course, we wait the whole day and the due date comes and goes. We are not troubled by this. It is the way of the birthing process. One can never know the day a new human will enter our lives (unless we schedule a cesarean section, which is a thing now, or so I’ve heard). My son Jordan and his wife Lau are indeed unable to plan a trip to the store let alone the baby’s arrival, on lock-down in Argentina. They peacefully await signs of labor, mindfully anticipate their new stage in life as parents. They do breathing exercises, yoga, meditations, light candles. All the good stuff to make waiting better. Especially necessary in today’s climate.
Today is Sunday. March 22, 2020. I am half-way excited, because Lau is showing the first signs of labor today; but the other half of me is holding back knowing that that baby will not be here until he is good and ready. No amount of hiking, jumping on the bed, castor oil, or herbal concoctions can coax him through the birthing canal. Women have accepted this since the beginning of time. We have thrown our collective hands up in the air and learned to accept the not-knowing aspect of life’s beginnings. Women have communally embraced this truth: To birth a baby requires an unfoldment that is much grander than any of us involved. It just is.
Creativity is a little like this process of birth. We conceive an idea, let it gestate, execute it (birth it) and share it with the world. The process behind any birth is pinnacle for a final product to emerge. This unfoldment, or process, is a bit easier to recognize in the case of a real infant compared to creating a song or an article. We wish to just crank it out! Author Deena Metzger also likens the creative process to childbirth and asserts that we, as Creativists, cannot force the birth of a project.
(Of course, due dates and deadlines compel us to finish what we start, however, it may or may not be the fruition of what we had conceived originally.)
In our case, today, March 21, 2020, we are not the only folks in the midst of the landscape of not-knowing.
The whole world is in a state of not-knowing.
Mother Nature is clearly in the process of something so big, we can’t know it.
The Coronavirus has already put the brakes on everyone’s ability to plan. We can’t plan to go to school, can’t plan vacations, can’t plan financially, can’t plan weddings or concerts or any of our usual ways of connecting and being together. I had planned to go to Argentina to be with my son and his wife for the birth of this baby, but when officials turned me away at the border due to a travel ban mandate declared while I was in the air, I could only sob and turn around and go home. The large-framed US customs officer put it this way: “We are in trying times. Suck it up. We must all do the best we can!” in his strong, deep voice. Through tears, I agreed. Something in me needed to hear that. I thought about it. I’m not the only one who can’t plan right now. I am in the company of many throughout the whole world; the UK, Thailand, the US, Argentina, China, etc.. This brings me comfort. I would even bet that I wasn’t the only grandmother who was prevented from being with the expectant parents during such an epic moment.
Instead of talking politics, or death toll, or rising numbers of cases, I am trying to see it through the lens of creativity. By collectively not-knowing, by being forced into a state of unfoldment, by being reliant on the cooperation of others, all new territory, we are in the seat of a Creativity venture, whether we know it or not. Whether we agree and comply or not.
We are thrust into the throes of Creativity, impatient of the conventional and led by the unknown.
The human species is in the midst of creating something.
Something never before Created.
If we are able to join our hearts and minds through our cyber interactions, keep our agendas open for what is to come, we may discover a brand-new capacity for life in the 21st-Century. Others who come after us will mark this Coronavirus as a turning point for whatever it is that we will end up with. Tolerance? Interconnectedness? Acceptance? Ecological benefits? Financial generosity? Simplicity? Gratitude?
I dare say that without hope and positive intention, the birthing process is miserable. But our curiosity and like-mindedness will serve to Create the reality that comes next. And just by glimpsing at our history, I do believe we will make it because of what has managed to bring us through all of those past tragic and difficult times–our humanity.
For now, I light a candle for Lau, Jordan and the baby.
I light a candle for the whole world.