How often do you create?

I’ve just finished reading A man without country by Kurt Vonnegut. I’d love to quote the whole book, but that’d be plagiarism, so here’s a quote on creating that stood out for me:

Go into the arts. I’m not kidding. The arts are not a way to make a living. They are a very human way of making life more bearable. Practicing an art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow, for heaven’s sake. Sing in the shower. Dance to the radio. Tell stories. Write a poem to a friend, even a lousy poem. Do it as well as you possibly can. You will get an enormous reward. You will have created something.

This got me thinking: how many of us create stuff in adulthood?


In an industrialised world it is the norm to consume rather than create.

Take me for example.

I don’t grow things. Neither do I sew. Or make art for that matter. Not even any crafts. Nope, no singing either (I’m tone deaf).

I do make a lot of my own food, though. Create recipes, yes. And I write.

Oh, and I LOVE to dance, but I haven’t done much of that lately. (Perhaps that’s the missing ingredient? Better get onto that, Bollywood style, of course.)

But the balance is askew. I consume much more than I create. Which, I hazard a guess, is the reason why many of us feel lost or empty.

The soul needs to grow. But it needs the right food to grow. Creating is it.

So I’ve been inviting the idea of sewing. Very basic things, like simple skirts. And growing things to eat. The easy stuff, like salad greens and silverbeet. And some daffodils, too, for decorating the home (inspired by a dear friend).

These ideas need to percolate, though, and seep into the cracks of my brain before I feel ready enough to begin. Starting little by little, fitting it in bit by bit. Otherwise, they will never happen, no? (I think I’ll start with the daffodils first.)

Kurt Vonnegut in the chapter “I’ve been called a luddite” (incidentally, my favourite in the book) illustrates with his stories how technology has taken away creative work that has given many people purpose and becoming.

Technology is helpful, yes, but it’s up to us to use it intelligently and mindfully, leaving plenty of mental and physical space to create.

So, let’s not forget to create for soul’s sake.

What do you create or wish to create?


9 thoughts on “How often do you create?”

  1. Love this post and how unique to find it on your food-related blog. I often feel that desire to create art bubble up but it’s quickly flooded with priorities and this and that. You know what I mean.

    I’m going to work on learning drawing and perspective skills and maybe I’ll get to sewing my own duvet. Soon!

    Thanks for this little reminder.

  2. reminds me of the conversation i recently had with an artist friend – john is convinced that by typing, as opposed to handwriting, that we have lost a daily connection to creative opportunities.

    creative stuff lightens the load of other things in life, that direct hand eye coordination idea. loving that vonnegut quote…it’s so true. cultivation of the female/ying part in all of us!

    (p.s. will see what daffs i can dig out for you in autumn – i have a LOT :-))

    1. Have to say, I agree with John. A few weeks ago, I started to write my posts by hand first now, before moving to the keyboard. Flows better this way, to get my thoughts on paper. Thanks for the daffs, m’dear friend. I look forward to them brightening my day xx

  3. Hi Lesh! Love your writing and your food! I kind of combine the ideas of your two blogs. …this one and the one you did about Tod and using what you have to create. I do that with cooking but I also do that with my decorating, sewing and art! I usually come up with something wonderful and unique. It is very satisfying. But a little difficult to explain to my husband how I start out pulling something from a curb or closet with the intention of making curtains and end up with a seat covering or pajamas!

    1. Awesome Lili! That’s really creative. Wish more people did that. We’d have a lot less land fill waste and more money in our hip pockets. Keep up the great work! L x

  4. Sounds like I need to read this book!

    And the quote really brought me to that space of WHY I feel so drawn to classical Indian dance.. to art. It all just feels so spacious and fulfilling!

    Great post Lesh XO

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