On Ecclesiastes 3 and The Creative Process

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:

ImagePhoto Credit

(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.

Aside | This entry was posted in English, Uncategorized, Writing; non fiction and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to On Ecclesiastes 3 and The Creative Process

  1. The Baf says:

    Hey Nita, I think that you are on to something there. As a teacher, I had to “demonstrate” something to my kids. I had to show them how something worked. They had to enjoy and take part in my creativity, and knowledge before they launched on to create an even greater work. That is always the teachers dream, and what will happen when students get the foundation, and then take it to the next level, building on what they have learned. .I think that is why Yeshua said, “even greater works will you do”. The silent non productive period is not bad, it is part of the whole developmental process.

  2. Sara says:

    When did you write this? I feel like I haven’t seen you(r blog) in ages. Whops!

    Very interesting points!
    I work with farmers on community engagement on issues such as sustainable environmental management (blah blah blah ;-) ). It’s a two-way learning/teaching process. I’m a vet & scientist by profession but I value non-academic knowledge as much, if not more! than academic knowledge. Academia’s “dull performance” gets me frustrated. I’ve been a lecturer for some time and the most interesting moments were when one sees some sort of sparkle in the students, when one has managed to engage with them, awake their interest and creativity. But in order to do so, I had to show that creativity can have a place in the lecture room, because learning is not just in the lecture room. By showing them that I wasn’t just dully performing and that dully performing wasn’t required from them, some students were drawn into the creative spell and, as mentioned, something greater was achieved.
    Similarly, my interaction with the farmers is a bit like a two-way creativity-highway, with the occasional pit-stops. I think those are necessary in order to keep the dullness away and continue along the highway :-)
    Wow… I sound semi-poetic. It wasn’t my intention :-D

    • Alex says:

      Well Sara, you may have not read in ages but then again I’ve not blogged in ages, either! which is shame. Many changes have taken place lately (among them that I am now living in Sweden, as the new header suggests) and so I’m getting used to it all.

      Thank you for taking the time to comment and offering your own reflections; I really appreciate them and yes, poetic you are! :)

      Keep tuned. I’ll write much more, soon… pinkie promise!

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