The Essential Human Essences Of Creativity, Imagination, And Beauty with J. Ruth Gendler

J. Ruth Gendler

At a very young age, Ruth Gendler became enamored with elements of creativity like words, colors and beauty. After years of writing, painting and teaching, she has come to know herself as an “Anthropologist of the Imagination.” She offers insight into some qualities that are our steadfast companions, such as joy, love of beauty, curiosity, and courtesy. These qualities can take on a life of their own. “They’re a part of us and they’re apart from us,” she likes to say. Gendler asserts that creativity does not lead to efficiency and patience and that even boredom should be a welcome part of the creative process. Creativity gives us a reason to slow down in this instant world. She suggests taking the time to write letters. Reading and writing letters are two things we hardly make time for but when one takes the time, writing can become a luxurious experience. Creativity flows through a personal filter that is otherwise unnoticed and art is clarifying and revealing. She gives an example of a group of elementary school children working on an assignment to draw a picture of George Washington. She was struck by how much each version resembled the child creating it. Gendler offers the listeners a few prompts to get the creative process started. She suggests asking yourself questions and waiting patiently for the answers.

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