The Practice of Creativity

Your Inner Creative Space

Posted on: July 1, 2009

In May I talked about the importance of designating creative space in your home. Lately, I‘ve been thinking about the metaphorical spaces that we draw from as creatively minded folks. If in our imaginations, we mark those mysterious places where ideas seem to reside, it’s easier to know the path back to them when we’re lost. I was half listening to an interview on NPR with Booker T, a noted musician (famously known for the instrumental ‘Green Onions’). He was talking about the title of his new CD called ‘Potato Hole’. He said that a potato hole was where he gets and keeps his ideas. Potato Hole? When he talked about the potato hole idea, I sat up and paid more attention. He explained that during slavery, African Americans (and I’m assuming poor whites) didn’t have wood floors in their homes; they had dirt or earthen floors. There was no place to keep vegetables cool. So, enslaved folks dug what they called ‘potato holes’, deep holes in the earth that allowed them to keep vegetables fresh. Potato hole is where he gets fresh ideas from and also keeps other ideas safely tucked away until they are ready. I simply fell in love with this unique description of creative space literally rooted in conditions of struggle. His use of the potato hole honors the creativity of everyday folk long gone.

Even though I’m always cajoling people to ‘think outside the box’, one of my inner creative places that I return to for stimulation is a luminous, golden box filled with light. When I get stuck or afraid, I think about reaching in this great big box of light and pulling out what I need. Stephen King writes about his muse coming up from the cellar bringing him beer. For him, the inner cellar is a place of creativity. I’ve heard other people say that tapping into their creativity is like imagining oneself at a great boisterous dinner party. All you have to do is sit back and listen. What about an inner creative space as a gorgeous tropical island that has an unending supply of chocolate? Well, you get the idea—any inner place that resides in your imagination that excites you counts. Over the next few days you might ask yourself: What is my ‘potato hole’? Where metaphorically do I keep ideas stored?Where do I go in my imagination to connect to my creativity?I hope your answers delight and surprise you.


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Michele Tracy Berger

Michele Tracy Berger

Author, Academic, Creativity Expert I'm an award winning writer.

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