Polly Vernon Does Creativity: part 2
If you missed Part 1, read it here
Why is this significant? First, because my look is, in part, my life's work, a constantly evolving, perpetually shifting expression of my character, mood, taste and perspective on life; and if you tell me yours isn’t, I won’t believe you. Not entirely.
Everyone cares about what they wear, at least a little bit, rarely more than they should, though often more than they let on. Our clothes are one of the major tools we use to engage with the rest of the world, vast swathes of which will only ever pass us by without speaking to us, forming opinions about us based uniquely on what we look like, and so we should make efforts to dress as well as we can, in the interest of being as eloquent as we can about who we are.
Second, because getting dressed is easily one of the most creative acts any of us perform every day. You put this with that and you choose those shoes and those sunglasses and you weigh and measure and reject and tweak, you get dissatisfied or pleasantly surprised, you make mistakes and you have minor triumphs. You create.
Third, and for all those reasons, it makes sense that my recently heightened capacity to dress, is a consequence of all the Headspacing. Mindful getting dressed in the morning is surely going to be more effective than unmindful getting dressed in the morning. You see the clothing you already own more clearly, see how it works and why it works – and how and why it doesn’t. As for the clothes you don’t own… I’ve definitely overcome what was a pretty convincing compulsion to shop as and when, and particularly if I was floundering about in a mood I didn’t like and couldn’t shift, from which I was seeking distraction. Now: I buy much less, and I buy more competently and with full reference to how anything new might be integrated, realistically, into the way I live.
And finally, there’s the incident which may surely be filed away under the subcategory Improved Capacity To Creatively Problem Solve, and which involves a kitten and a skip...
While sharing a villa with mates in Spain last year – four months or so after beginning Headspace - my friend Ben returned from a trip to our nearest rubbish skip, scratched and bleeding, still clutching the filled rubbish bag he'd meant to dispose of, yelling about wild animals. I followed him back to the skip, where he pointed out a small and bedraggled and distinctly undomesticated kitten, crouched and hissing in its base. 'I tried to get in and free it,' Ben explained. 'But it tried to kill me. THERE IS ABSOLUTELY NO WAY TO GET THAT KITTEN OUT OF THAT SKIP.’
I sized up the situation in a heartbeat, using my heightened Headspace super powers.
'What if we tipped the skip [which was large, but made of light plastic, and entirely empty, but for the kitten] on its side, so that the kitten can run out on its own?' I suggested. We did. The kitten shot off, directory into the path of an incoming car, which squashed it. No, it didn't really. At least, not that we saw. It did run out and off, but it had demonstrated really very little common sense until that point (jumped into a huge skip it could never hope to get out of unaided, scratched its putative liberator viciously, et cetera), there's a fair chance a kitten that stupid did get killed shortly after my brave rescue effort.
It was not a mindful kitten.
So the kitten escaped to an unknown fate, and I was delighted at my own brilliance; which admittedly doesn’t seem especially brilliant in retrospect; except in that it did demonstrate more brilliance than my friend Ben had managed to muster up, and also: you should have seen me before I started Headspace. Pretty much useless.
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