I am currently in Boston, visiting my son who is a student at Berklee College of Music. Last night we were talking, and he told me about this moment he had, where he was practicing flute, it had been hours of planned playing, and then, he didn’t even realize it but his eyes were closed, and the music was just happening.
More and more, I am fascinated by these moments, where time and space disappear, and creativity happens, almost in an altered state. It is a deeply personal moment, so I am truly amazed at being a witness to it in the studio, to actually seeing it.
The child, who keeps on working, unaware and/or uncaring that they are now alone, strikes me. Because in fact, they are not alone at all- they are in connection with the creative force that resides within. I call this phenomenon the “last child.” You know, the child who for some reason does not notice that everyone has moved on and is the last one working. They are still painting, sculpting drawing. They are not always the same type of child. In fact, I have seen this happen to both extremely social and extremely introverted children. I have seen this with children whose engine can run very fast and very slow. Once again, I am interested in the altered state where, as Howard Gardner says, the Creative self is like a laser beam, and nothing around it exists.
I have touched upon this in many prior blog posts.
Recently, I have been grabbing my camera and documenting some of these “last” children. To me, it is an affirmation. It is the image of the child, as strong and powerful. No TV or computer needed. It is a reminder of the possibilities within all children.