This started as a thought for an INTP community at Google+ and spilled out like coffee dribbling from a badly formed carafe. Self-indulgent. Indulge me.
Something I was thinking about earlier got me to wondering why people assume everyone of my personality type is not creatively-minded. I think it's a misunderstanding of creativity, but also a need to shoe-horn people into little boxes. As you can easily guess, I'm against that. But another aspect might be that my type is so rare among females. It isn't the type to be giddy about being rare, either, for the most part. "Ooh, I'm an xxxx, and that's a rare type, you know!" I've seen that a few times. Grow up; we're all special. None of us is special. And it's as hapless as wearing a t-shirt that reads "Normal is overrated." And boring.
But as a female INTP I can tell you that this is an area not easily navigated or defined, I mean, really, understood.
If you are, in fact, an electrical engineer, an architect, or someone who builds robots in his basement, you are probably a creative problem solver. Why should that ability not also lend itself to art or music, as well as literature? But we are sometimes instructed that only the touchy-feely types get to sit at that table, because they want to.
I think I spent all those years being told I was Spock-like, etc., to my personal detriment. I mean, I believed those people. They were the ones who knew, weren't they? I was compelled to trust their expertise and experience, if not their nonsensical attempts at leadership.
And sure, my creativity tends to take logical forms. When I compose a poem, I love forming interchangeable phrases and lines, and I'm pleased when I can give it an obvious meaning and a parallel unobvious one, and still make it trip interestingly over the tongue. I love the craft of language, and I love bending it to my will. I love the craft of cocktail-making, nearly as much. I love the math in music, and I can be aroused by the way a syllable takes shape at the end of a line in a song sung by a man who knows how to take hold of the thing. I love that all music is interwoven, nearly seamlessly, inside my head, like the view from the sky of a quilted landscape.
But when I paint? I am all vermilion, teal, gold, cream, using my hands, a chopstick, the end of a paintbrush, and it's messy and it's often not very good, but it is, actually, very very good.
The other day my son and I were in a hobby shop, and we saw, I kid you not, a young man in a black leather duster and black broad-rimmed leather hat, anxiously lapping the aisles. Another man, a little older, was impatient because, as he explained on the phone to someone while standing near us holding a ziploc bag with a game in it, "No one is here. And I was late. Where is everybody?" This one was a large guy, overgrown curly blond hair, unshaven, t-shirt stretched over a sizeable belly and covered in what might have been pizza dust. And he was having a moment of crisis. His people, his peers, they weren't there, and let's face it, they sure as hell weren't anywhere else, except maybe at home playing Skyrim.
In that sense, though I was admittedly laughing to myself, he and I were on the same plane. Who are my peers? I'm constantly being told to go out and get 'em, you know. And metonymy is useless, and no, we are none of us unique, but sometimes even in a swiftly flowing river, the leaf gets caught in sand and it's a long, long way from any tree it could possibly have come from. (From which it could have possibly come.)
I think it's time to paint.