“We often identify children with what is called creative potential without any reference to the products they have produced or will produce. However, if the creative product is a person’s life, then no concrete thing is necessary—a composition, a poem, a pot, or a theorem.”
Understanding Creativity, pg. 33.
I was a stutterer. I don’t remember when I began to stutter, but the memory of it is most vivid when I was five to six years old. Even at this moment, it just occurred to me that my speech issues coincided with moving to live with my grandparents when I was five years old, going to first grade, and enduring the molestation I have uncovered. Revelation: my stutter was a response to trauma, a child’s brain and body attempting to reconcile perhaps the seemingly irreconcilable.
There were some people, family, and school officials who had already begun to label me as “slow.” I don’t know how I remember, I just do. I recall the feeling of being looked at a particular way, the voice people used that they thought was soothing but was simply condescending. Of course, there were nice people too!
Words would get stuck in my throat. I would just repeat “I, I, I, want to, to, to …” I had developed a coping mechanism of slapping my right leg to coax out the words, or beat them out into submission the more frustrated I became. Throughout these battles with words (‘battle’ signaling a revelation as to why I’m a writer and chose to try to reign over words), I understood that I had worlds inside of me, stories that I made up, ones that just came to me, alternate spaces and places less chaotic than the one I found myself in. Relative to the quote, my creative potential was already being judged and thus predicted by others who had no idea about my inner worlds. The default to “producing,” of creating and being a “product,” belies the work we choose to do (which means not do) on and from our interiors. In other words, just because you don’t or can’t immediately see a product of work, doesn’t mean I’m not working. S|F Blog*
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