Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Following up on my comments over the last couple days, I want to state a hypothesis. Lacking anything better to call it, I'll name it the Stowe Hypothesis.

The creative engagement of the hands is so closely linked to mental and emotional states of well-being as to be considered causative. The decline in the use of the hands in creative activities (music, art, crafts, cooking, sewing and gardening) is proportional to the rise in the incidence of anxiety and depression and the rise in dependency on mood altering drugs.

I state this hypothesis based on my own experience in the wood shop and on the reports of other artists and craftspeople of the feelings engendered by their involvement in their own creative activities. We should also note that the current epidemic of anxiety and depression is concurrent with a drastic decline in hands-on creative activities.

Anyone have any ideas how to test such a thing?

The book mark in the photo above was made by a convict on death row in Arkansas. On shaving day, he takes his razor apart to cut out the paper in the few moments he's allowed before the razor must be returned. Then he decorates them. We all need the opportunity to create.

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