My metaphors edge on ridiculous. But hey, ridiculousness lends itself to accuracy.
What’s my metaphor for creativity? Bug catching.
I imagine my mind is a green park surrounded by tall trees. As I walk through the park, going about my day, butterflies patter beautifully and wholly arresting through the air. I stop and stare at its wings, the orange and gold, the swirls of black.
Multiple butterflies flow through this park throughout the day. Some are okay to look at, but only for a glance before I continue on with what I was doing. Others are so freaking gorgeous they electrify me in place.
“I have to have that,” I think to myself.
As I have my eyes on the butterfly, I pat my butt pockets, the pockets on my hips, shirt pockets, trying to feel anything that could contain the Lepidopteran. But there’s nothing. With its infinite agility, the butterfly flies away.
This is what creativity. I’m bombarded with thoughts that are cool and nice but don’t really interest me. But sometimes, in the most inconvenient times like when I’m driving in heavy traffic or running late to class, a beautiful butterfly floats before my eyes. And there’s nothing I can do at the moment but let its rarity fly away.
This is the struggle of making creativity a career. It’s fleeting, and kind of a jerk. But you continue walking through parks anyway because for those butterflies that you do catch, you look on fondly and proudly. Each one is a winged achievement.
That is why I have taken to carrying a small notebook and pen with me everywhere I go. It’s my butterfly net, and I’m frequently seen whipping it out and immortalizing inconsiderate insects. I’m not Ash Ketchum, but I sure have a sizable collection.