As a student I would spend long periods of time creating or, better said, attempting to create. I was supposed to generate innovative, fresh, ‘crazy’ while at the same time well thought ideas… on a deadline. It all worked well a few times, but most it didn’t. What I mean is there were loads of hard work behind every finished project, no smiling muse, or spark of light behind my small successes.
One particular morning my whole class – of 9 – seemed particularly blocked and frustrated, as became my professor from our lack of _______(what have you) . Her being not the cool, bearded, hippieish “the process is as important as the result” type who’d wait for the muse to grace us with its presence (She could have well been Twyla Tharp’s lost sister), decided it might do us well to change location and go tooooooo… the library (insert meh expression here). She had us all sit down and browse through book after book, catalog after catalog in search for inspiration and some reflection on the denotative and connotative meaning of all things visual. We did. The result? I can’t remember but it eventually got me a diploma and a nice silver medallion, blue & gold ribbon attached.
The thing is, on that day – maybe, maybe it merely illustrates my point – I learned one can’t always be ‘on the go’, doing, performing, creating; it is sometimes also necessary to . stop . and read, look, smell, feel; and so process and think and reflect. And look again and listen and load yourself with information. Like this:
(yeps, such a random that as this may prove thought provoking if not directly inspiring)
Granted, there’s always the risk of overload resulting in ‘mental tummy ache’ and/or producing copycats of other people’s ‘babies’ but then again, as time passes – I think – you get wiser and become more selective about what your senses are fed and how you let that affect your own creative process.
Of course I feel pressed; pressed by time, by the things I ought to be doing and the someone I should be…hmmm… being? It is all there and it is all legitimate, and yet, I am aiming to not err as I did that morning in the classroom, jumping into action armed with barley any reference to begin with. I am neither saying all I am listening to, watching, reading, experiencing will necessarily render a tangible result, nor advocating for this somewhat passive phase to drag on forever, devoid of all future concrete goals; I know there will soon come a time to rest from it and get back to work, especially on what pertains to blogging for, as Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 accurately points out, there is time for everything and, on occasion, ‘actively waiting’ yields more fruit than ‘dully performing’. Now on the depth of Ecclesiastes itself, its impact and Danskeability* – well… that should provide fodder for a part two post. stay tuned.
Question: Have you ever felt that way? I mean, have you ever felt an almost desperate need to nurture yourself off of other people’s creative efforts? If so, what has it looked like for you?
* Danskeability = Potential to comment on, convert, merge or otherwise relate a topic – any topic! – or thing, person, place or situation with Denmark, despite its utter non-relationship to vikingland.