There's a list in The Huffington Post of 18 things creative people do differently. They:
daydream, observe everything, work the hours that work for them, take time for solitude, turn life’s obstacles around, seek out new experiences, ‘fail up’, ask big questions, people watch, take risks, view life as an opportunity for self-expression, follow their true passions, get out of their own heads, lose track of time, surround themselves with beauty, connect the dots, make time for mindfulness.
Last night I was tired and hungry. So why, after a day’s work, did I go to the Bristol Balloon Fiesta nightglow, alone in the rain?
The faces were beautiful in the dusk, so many, so various, so many heads carrying so many stories. The movements of children, lifting smoothly from the churned grass for a better view, orbiting their parents like electrons buzzing heavy nuclei. The beautiful Japanese girl sitting cross-legged on the grass, great symmetry to her face, mouth like a bruise, steals a chip from a boy, swirls it in salsa, eats. The voice of an android ‘Seven minutes to inflation.’ Manic bulb-studded fairground. Cold, quiet trees. The people organism commutes the walkways. A boy twirls a liquorice lace, catches the end in his mouth, ingests in gathers. The fudge tent, like a building yard for sugar igloos. ‘One minute to inflation.’ The flaccid casings ripple and begin to rise with a giant’s breath. Puff, they grow. I’ll huff and I’ll puff. Hemispheres rising. Full and lovely they rise, a dozen air balloons. In the crowd miniatured balloons on a thousand phone screens. The balloons glow, fired in synchrony. The music, M-people, ‘I can feel my soul ascending.... what have you done today to make you feel proud,’ a West country anthem, ‘Ruby, Ruby, Ruby, Ruby,’ the crowd sing ‘oo-ar, oo-ar, oo-ar.’
The balloons shrink and sink becoming cloths, just as ghosts become sheets, dolls and clowns lose their night-time animation, and the human spirit fleas the body. The sky explodes.
It was irresistible to me because I'm a novelty junky and it ticked at least half of the boxes above. There it was: rain turned to atmospheric beauty, people-watching, new experiences, observing everything, out of my head, solitude in a crowd, mindful, forgetful of time, connecting dots and asking questions. Oo-ar.