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Thursday, June 13, 2013

The opposite of creativity is what?

New garden, run over. Excuse the bad photo, but it's monsoon season in Rochester. I don't dare carry my camera, and my cell phone kept fogging up..
Last evening I talked with a Pittsford farmer (really) about the different ways in people are creative. He has two “artistic” sisters, whereas he likes building and growing things. He figured they’re two sides of the same coin, and, of course, I agree.

This morning, I noticed that a truck had plowed across a brand-new garden here overnight, digging deep ruts into the earth, smashing new shrubs and plants, and fracturing an antique sandstone accent curb. (It would have been nearly impossible for this to be accidental.)

This is petty vandalism in the grand scheme of things, but it still irks me. If this keeps up, will the owner let the lot revert to the packed dirt, weeds and broken glass that is so sadly common in the commercial-industrial areas of our cities?

The worst act of vandalism I ever committed was unintentional: I walked into a sodden, newly seeded lawn before realizing why the owner had a temporary string barrier around it. Thirty years later, it still bothers me. That is not because I’m some kind of moral paragon; it’s because my personality is fundamentally creative, rather than destructive.

Of course, most people’s minds are wired the same way as mine. But what goes on in the heads of that small minority who take joy in defacing or destroying what others do?

Perhaps in some instances, the driving force may be envy or resentment, but I imagine that in most cases it’s some kind of pure spirit of rage—a sort of angry equivalent to the bubbling effervescence most of us experience from time to time. But I really wouldn’t know.

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