I recently have fallen in love with the science behind creativity. This new-found appreciation continues to overwhelm me as I flip through each delicate page of the book, Imagine, by Jonah Lehrer. (Mr. Lehrer also wrote a top-notch book entitled, How We Decide. I was attracted to this book immediately because it’s all about the science behind decision making—a topic that immediately drew in my attention due to my 100% natural, raw, and organic indecisiveness.)
At any rate, my brain started going crazy as new ideas and concepts were introduced to me in the first chapter of Imagine. And, although I really want to outline all of his elaborate examples such as, Bob Dylan quitting the music business before he even wrote “Like a Rolling Stone,” I decided to use my creative burst to visually illustrate what I learned in this first chapter. It’s simple, but breaking down everything and forcing myself to rewrite it in a very condensed form helped me understand what he was saying better.
To provide one further illustration of how the left and right hemispheres process information, Mr. Lehrer discusses Romeo’s depiction of Juliet as “the sun.” The left hemisphere would not be helpful in this case because it would compare Juliet to the literal sun- a burning sphere of hydrogen. But the right hemisphere takes over and helps us understand the metaphor behind the saying. Juliet is the light of his life!
It is amazing to me that our brains are capable of storing information. It is even more incredible that the brain coordinates all of this information in such a seamless fashion, allowing for metaphors to be devised from the details of reality.
This is all extra thrilling because I’m realizing that I’m not as detail orientated as I once thought I was (I’m thinking I tend to look at the bigger picture, which is maybe why I’ve never become obsessed with mastering one skill or picturing myself in one career for the rest of my life). And despite the fact that I think almost every job description I’ve come across in my rigid career search states that it wants a “detail-orientated” individual, I’m thinking, hey, those detail-orientated people probably need other people to help them look at the bigger picture as well. Because in my mind, the creative process benefits from having both sides involved.
More chapters to come.