Wednesday, April 7, 2010

The FIT State of Legos

I recently bought my son his first set of real, bona fide Legos. Entrusting a three-and-a-half year old with something as small as Lego studs is always a bit unnerving for me. Not because I think he's going to eat them, but because vital pieces have a way of disappearing. The words "vital pieces" is telling for anyone who knows me. I can be extremely anal-retentive when I let myself. He did so well with his new set that—I'm proud to say—I got out of my comfort zone and let him have have my coveted collection of castle pieces, etc.

Sitting in his room, amid what looked like a hurricane disaster area, I tried to piece together the remnants of a shattered castle without the aid of instructions. Now, I realize that it is stereotypical of guys (however unfair or unfounded) that we do not like to look at the instructions. I was, however, in a state of distress over the missing castle plans, while he rapidly began designing his own. I have been talking a lot about "creators" and "performers" lately, and the subject was still on my mind during this dilemma, which brought up a good question.

If I consider myself a creative person, and a creator by nature has difficulty performing under anyone else's rules, then why did I want so badly to find the instructions?

My first attempt at resolving this conundrum followed the reasoning that I am a storyteller by nature, and I need a stage on which to tell the story. The construct of a Lego world, was in effect, that stage. Yet I realized that it is a performance that is done on a stage and not the actually creation. Afterall, a script forms much of the basis for a movie set, not the other way around.

Upon deeper reflection, I realized that what I had (and my young son lacked) was an understanding that those pieces had a natural form that they were designed to be in. They had a state of FITness. A form that made use of every single piece, could not do without certain pieces, and would not be as stable if reconstituted in a different form. In effect, the creation was perfect, it was complete, it was done. There was nothing I could add or innovate. Therefore, I was compelled to comply with this "truth," in order that I might utilize its predisposed "integrity" to give myself and my son a platform of "freedom" upon which to create our own stories.

Oftentimes, I believe, we seek to reinvent the wheel in the name of innovation. This may be due to a simple lack of knowledge about what already exists, and often is a failure that teaches us that knowledge. To truly be creators we have to know what has been created and why. Physical forms (and even some mental ones) serve as their own legacy. They are there to examine, and the information of their creators is there to show us the thing's physical nature. Once we've seen what can be examined, and realized what can be learned, we must imagine what can be possible from there forward.
FEATURED MEDIA: Legos are among the most versatile toys ever created. The state they were designed to be in is of a high level of stability, but the very fact that they can be endlessly tweaked and re-imagined not only teaches people to think different, but also teaches them about the stability and rules by which they ought to play. Also, they're indestructible.

No comments:

Post a Comment