As I was driving home yesterday evening after work, I saw the evidence where a vehicle had run off the road and crashed into a wooden fence. A nice, clean "front-end-sized" hole had been punched through the barrier, but it appeared to be a drive-away situation where no one was hurt.
I reflected on the scene as I continued to drive, and the phrase between the lines crossed my mind. It was obvious that the driver of the previously mentioned vehicle did not stay between the lines.
In the not so distant past another phrase was making the rounds as a description of creativity (as an alternative to the overused phrase out-of-the-box): Outside the lines. As in "he colors outside the lines".
Why I thought of the phrase between the lines was this: The driver had not stayed there. Rather, he (or she) had strayed from the imaginary protection of the painted lines on the asphalt and ventured into unsafe territory.
As in this case, sometimes it's okay (or even better) to stay between the lines.
In sports, straying outside the lines has different consequences: In football, the play is over and the ball is spotted at the point of crossing. In basketball, possession is forfeited. In baseball, the ball becomes foul instead of fair. In track, disqualification.
What about in creating?
Pure creativity has to begin somewhere. I believe it starts between the lines, and then evolves. In music, a melody or a chord. In painting, colors and canvas. In writing, words and phrases.
Sometimes creativity pushes boundaries. Sometimes it steps over them. Sometimes it establishes new boundaries.
What do you do to create? Where do you start? Where do you end up?
Question: Can a person be creative and stay between the lines? Share your thoughts below in 'comments'.
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