Expanding my definition of creativity
Soon after my family moved from Colorado to Arkansas, my second-grade teacher, Sister Letitia cast me as the love-struck owl and my classmate Leanna as the charmed pussycat I would marry in a dramatic rendering of Edward Lear’s poem The Owl and The Pussycat. I don’t remember the actual performance, but I do remember relishing the hours we spent before the show painstakingly rehearsing our lines. Leanna’s and my friendship started with the play and continues to this day. I delighted in playing a male-identified character, although I wouldn’t have been so clear about that then. I just knew that it felt right to me, even as later that same year, I would climb a ladder in my white Communion dress and shiny patent-leather shoes to crown the May Queen (see a photo of my doing exactly that in my description of the 1960s)
Every Sunday afternoon when we were kids, Leanna and her sisters visited their grandparents who lived down the street from us. Leanna and I worshiped TV, so most Sundays, after changing out of our church clothes, and cleaning up from our respective Sunday dinners, we broke away, met in the woods, and re-enacted a recent episode of Rat Patrol, Bewitched, or eventually, and then exclusively, Star Trek (long before it had to be referred to as “The Original Series.”).
Even to this day, whenever I doubt my creativity, I remind myself of those Sunday afternoons in the woods with Leanna and pretend that she’s there beside me pushing me to “to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations, to boldly go where no (wo)man has gone before.” 
 Star Trek, The Original Series, 1966, the mission of the Starship Enterprise.
Accidental Mentors is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support my work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.