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Key of Thee

A prompt to encourage your practice of creativity this week from Riversider and local author Larry Burns.

Do you need a low stress way to include seven minutes of creative contemplation into your week? Consider this your helpful nudge towards a slightly more creative life. If it helps, come back every week for a quick hit of creative contemplation. Each week I’ll share a new nudge. It will include a Thing (T), a Place (P), and a Sense(S) for your focus, a TPS creative nudge.

Last week, we recognized the small and ever present nature of #2 pencils in our lives and the memories they evoke. Did that school dazed nostalgic nudge send you back to your days of Underoos? Maybe you recalled a Shel Silverstein poem you memorized in 4th grade or let the scent of freshly sharpened pencils carry you into a car dashboard drum solo that entertained your fellow commuters. Whatever you did with those minutes of creative reflection I am glad you are back.

This week, we invite another everyday mundane object to give us a nudge in a creative direction. Our object of inspiration? A set of keys – those small, utilitarian objects bearing the weight of our daily routines and secrets they contain. Where did you leave them anyway? If they don’t turn up, that just means you definitely have the time to take seven minutes of creative reflection right now.

As you (eventually) hold a set of keys in your hand, feel the weight of them against your palm. Maybe toss them back and forth and notice how that shifting weight feels and the related sounds that creates. Notice the dimensions, the grooves and edges that make each key unique. Or the density and heft of a key fob.

And then, explore beyond the keys themselves. What else adorns your keychain? What trinkets, charms, or objects have you chosen to accompany your keys on their daily journey? Do you go functional or fabulous with these accessories? These seemingly insignificant additions can reveal surprising insights about our personalities, interests, and memories.

This week’s creative nudge invites you to engage your sense of touch and unlock (ChatGPT 3.5 generated pun) your creative potential. Here are a few activities to help you open the door (human generated pun):

  1. Key Chronicles: Visualize all the unexpected places you've left your keys, real or imagined – the top of the fridge, a potted plant, or even the freezer. Write short, humorous anecdotes about these fictional escapades. Where’s the last place you looked?
  2. Keyless Entry: Be creative with negative space and take a few mystery keys or that faded club card off your keyring. This is making room for good things to come.
  3. Shadow Play: Using white paper or transfer paper (or if reading this in an old teachers lounge, mimeograph paper) and a crayon or chalk or #2 pencil, capture images of your keys. This visual representation can serve as a unique and artistic portrayal of the items that journey with you.
  4. Found Key: Take your keys and present them as works of art as they are. Placing them in artistic settings or incorporating them into wardrobes can be a fun found art activity.

Through these activities, we not only engage our sense of touch but also delve into the narratives and emotions associated with the everyday objects we often take for granted. By allowing our tactile exploration to guide us, we might discover new dimensions of our creativity and embrace the world surrounding us.

Whether you're imagining whimsical key adventures, contemplating the absence of keys, or capturing their essence through shadow imagery, each exercise offers a unique opportunity to expand your creative horizons

Note: portions of this prompt created using the tool ChatGPT.