Curiosity and Creativity

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Curiosity has both a positive and negative connotation.  Seen as inquisitiveness it is interest, a desire to know something, to gain knowledge – admirable qualities. Taken more as snooping, however, it’s showing nosiness and a tendency to pry – an intrusiveness most of us don’t welcome.

Our visitors last night displayed a little of both aspects. Two raccoons appeared at the darkened window beside my chair, peering in, perhaps hoping for a handout, although I don’t know why. We never feed them; we don’t want them to become dependent or aggressive.

For a time our six-year-old granddaughter sat at the patio door almost nose to nose with them, enthralled, but securely separated by the glass. I don’t know who was more curious about the other.

The encounter reminded me of my first introduction to a new story idea. A visual image of someone coaxes me to investigate who it is, what is being done and why, when, and where. Curiosity draws me into a fictional world that begs for exploration, a story waiting to be discovered – a world on the other side of the glass.

Of necessity a writer is a curious person, but the desire to know shouldn’t be limited to a make believe world. To write well we need to be engrossed in life. Reality provides constant stimulation for an imaginative mind.

How curious are you? What fuels your creativity?

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13 thoughts on “Curiosity and Creativity

  1. I always want to know more about God and people. His ways, our ways, how we move and think. How God deals with us drives much of my curiosity.

    The raccoons are darling! They are very bold. We once camped in a state park where the raccoons had become too many and too bold. They’d come to a campsite, grab the food and run. They were not afraid to come close!

    Your raccoon photos are fabulous! What stunning photos of these creatures full of curiosity and fearlessness. Thank you for sharing…

    • Raccoons can be quite vicious… I recall a friend’s dog having its face badly sliced open by one that it had cornered in the yard… so I’m not eager to encourage them around here.

      • I knew of a man that had a raccoon for a pet. One day the pet tore open his arm so badly that he had to have surgery! I think you are right to keep them at a distance.

  2. Paul Greci says:

    I love the expressive faces on the racoons! I’m curious what was going thru their minds. Was it all about food or was there something more there?

    • Paul, I just realized that if you click on the second photo to enlarge it, you can see our dog’s reflection. I know from previous encounters that the ‘coons aren’t intimidated by him, but in that photo it looks like they’re eyeing him pretty closely. At other moments they were eyeing our granddaughter, so your guess is as good as mine as to what they were thinking. 🙂

  3. joylene says:

    I think I’m probably too curious. You’re right, sometimes that’s good and not so good. I’m outside this morning trying to capture a great shot of the 6 eagles on the ice right out front. I’m looking through the lens, hoping for that perfect picture — when I came to about an inch of stepping right off the side of the deck. Not a long drop. But at my age… ouch.

    Lovely pics, Carol. I don’t blame your granddaughter. What a neat experience.

  4. I would have been pushing the grandgirl out of the way so *I* could get nose to nose.

    My husband came nose to nose with one when he was a kid. The barn cats used to all skitter around when he would go out to feed them. Climbed the ladder to the loft, pushed one out of the way to turn on the light, and found himself eye to eye with a big ole raccoon. He wasn’t sure who was most surprised. I guess the raccoon came to eat with the cats.

  5. karen evans says:

    They can be cute, but destructive, too. Here around the parks they can open the lids on trash cans and make all kinds of mess. Cute tho’. Make sure there’s no food, even dog/cat food outside-they like that too. 😛

    • They have very dextrous paws, that’s for sure. Because of bears there’s never any pet food or garbage left out. We live rurally so resident wildlife isn’t unusual but I’d rather they didn’t venture onto the deck.

  6. The Writer says:

    If I had to use one word to describe myself, it would probably be “curious.” I love nothing more than learning or trying something new. This can be wonderful for writing and creative pursuits in general, but it’s also hard to just buckle down and get to working. At the end of the day, no matter how great your inspiration is, what really matters is perspiration.

  7. I just love those pics!
    We get critters out here in the country on our property all the time, I believe mainly because we have a couple acres of trees on two sides. It’s common to see deer grazing in the backyard, raccoon, possum, and skunks scurrying around, and baby coyotes howling seasonal. There was even a mountain lion that came round a couple of summers ago. All are really cool to look at from a distance, but I quickly learned after moving here that none should be considered approachable. Yes, I was one of those who tried to talk my husband into capturing one of these when they were little so I could bring it in and love it, which was met with a laugh and then a lengthy explanation of why this is a no-no.
    My curiosity is history. I watch a lot of the History channel, and like to surf and look things up online. I think that’s where my love for antiques comes from. As I joke to my husband, I am the keeper of obtuse information. None of which is ever probably going to do me a bit of good.

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