Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Dinosaurs, Part 1

My apologies, Gentle Reader, for being so behind in my posts to you. I recently had the chance to immerse myself in the study of dinosaurs. Fascinating creatures, dinosaurs. The class was called "Introduction to Dinosaurs" and for me it was all new information. I have never even watched "Jurassic Park" from beginning to end. Some of the material covered was very technical like weight ratios and skeletal structures and I will admit that when I encountered formulas, my eyes gazed over and I just skimmed the information. At other times, when the discussion centered on topics like coprolites, gasthroliths or taphonomy, I was able to channel my inner ten year old boy and I never even knew I had an inner ten year old boy to channel. Don't know what coprolites, gasthroliths or taphonomy refers to? Well, suffice it to say, it has an EWWWW factor best appreciated by ten year old boys. 

As a creativity coach, one thing, in particular, stood out to me. Dinosaurs have two histories. The first occurred more than 65 million years ago, when dinosaurs lived, had families and died. The second history began about two hundred years ago when early paleontologists recognized that the bones and teeth in the soil represented animals that did not have contemporary counterparts. When they began to find whole skeletons and prepared them for display, they could not imagine anything so big holding a tail above the ground. In their minds, the tail must have dragged on the ground. So what did they do? They broke the caudal vertebrae or tail bone! They destroyed the evidence because it did not fit into their world view so therefore, it could not exist. They could not see what was literally before their eyes. I glad they weren't trying to understand flight or they may have killed  the bumblebees.  

So, what do you refuse to see? What is right before your eyes that you don't want to examine closely because it might challenge your little corner of the universe? Is there some creative risk that you don't think is possible but it lurks in your mind anyhow? Look at it closely. maybe you'll find a world new world for yourself.