I don't consider myself creative. Certainly not in the traditional sense but strictly speaking I am creative. I don't create masterpieces of music or artwork. My creativity is more in expression and words. It's why I've always been drawn to poetry. Where else can you ignore punctuation and the rules of grammar and claim creative license?

Poetry and photography are both meditative ways to explore the world. They both are a pause in life a momentary halt of the hustle. A moment to stop and observe and capture. Capture the results of leaves. The daring heights of buildings, and the the colors of creation. Each sense captured I'm a photo or jotted into the world of poems. Little markers of a moment's meditation. I let them reverse the phrase don't miss the forest for the trees and question whether we miss the trees for the forest. Do we too often notice the sweeping beauty of the forest and never catch the stoicism of the hundredth tree from the left? Photos and poems can both evoke questions and extend answers.

My favorite photos (and paintings for that matter) are the ones that ignite the imagination. They beg the viewer to enter and explore. That is why I love pictures of doors, windows, trails, and stairs. Each one creates the start of a story. What is down the dark basement stairs in the grainy photo from the abandoned house? What does your imagination tell you? Is it too scared to walk down like I was? What is up the narrow and brightly lit concrete stairs with a rough stone wall? What is through the double doors with old leaded glass and beyond their staircase? Most t importantly I want to connect with the existential question of who else stood here. Who else looked out these windows and walked down this path? Where did they go? And who will stand here in the future?

This need to explore through words and images is captured in my love of Eric Carl's "The Secret Birthday Message" and "The Berenstain Bears and the Spooky Old Tree." Both books pull the reader on through word and image to the next page always asking what is next.

Poems play at the same questions but they use words to create an image of emotion and a sense of space. They more often explore to understand a thought. They don't capture the beauty of the tree but capture what it means to be that tree. Poetry is also a free and honest way to capture human emotion that can escape the rules and restrictions of more traditional writing. For me, poetry often accompanies deeper questions and philosophical thoughts. It is the depth beyond the question.

On the other hand, poetry is light and joyful like the witty societal commentary of Shel Silverstein.

Occasionally I write short stories. These are often bits of family lore. Oral stories I've told for years that I've finally captured in writing. I don't claim perfection and readily admit there will be grammar errors. I write like I talk and don't apologize for it because most short stories are just recording my oral tradition. It's from these stories that I gave this site its name. My Life and Living, which is an homage to the great James Thurber and his biographical "My Life and Hard Times.

I also wrote story ideas. These are nothing more than a few sentences that would make a great story if I have the time and talent one day.

I do more serious writing on theological, philosophical, and political thoughts. Most often it's a way for me to process my ideas and beliefs. I don't share them to start a grand debate (chances are it's already going on my Facebook). I share them to spur reflection in others.

The tldr version is creativity for me is about capturing the vibrancy of what is missed in the everyday.