Exploration and Knowing: An Introduction to Creativity

I’ve heard it said “let inspiration find you working. “ ~ Picasso (I think). I’m too lazy to check my sources and sometimes I’m too lazy to set up a canvas or pick up my drawing pad or open up photoshop or procreate on my iPad. The point is sometimes I’m too lazy to work and I cant tell you how many ideas I’m missed out on because I’d rather watch a movie I’ve watched so many times before ( i didn’t even enjoy it the first time).
But just because I’m too lazy to do all the above doesn’t mean I’m “lazy, LAZY” I mean I’m busy. I get things done. I make lists, I even make lists of the things I want to create. I even sometimes write down the steps that I need to take to get ready to create and work on the things that I said I was going to last week or last month. THe things that excited me enough to talk about it on social media or with close friends or my precious Julie (my wife).


But you see that’s the point or at least one of the many I’ve yet to learn and implement as part of my daily rhythm of writing down all that I want to do.
I spend LOTS of time writing out all I want to do, even sketching them out in detail with notes. But even though I do that work, I never get to THE work. The work that invites the muse, the one that signals to the spirit that one is attentive and waiting for revelation truth to mingle with the work of their hands. That smell of steaks on the grill worsting through the neighborhood telling you that someone’s eating good tonight at their house. It’s that scent that attracts us to the good stuff.

Now I’m not here to convince you that its just that easy. By God I’ve done it every which way I can think of and I’m sure I’ve missed it time and again. But the truth is I’ve been too lazy (i should really find a different word, Julie hates this one…) to hoist my sail into the direction of the wind and let it guide me. YOu see I have a destination in mind. I have the picture or the tune, or the thought I want to spin into existence. But the thought of doing the work often scares me. Not because I feel inadequate (well, maybe that’s it, because often times I do – more on this later). It’s because I”be already decided what it is supposed to look like, and for fear of failure I never begin. It’s slightly more admirable to say “well I just was too busy” than to admit failure or defeat. Neither of these are options if we are to draw inspiration to us in our secrete place of navigating uncharted waters or depths that paralyze the land lover in us.


The sail and the anchor are metaphors that the artist can use to understand and in some ways explain their need for exploration and knowing. They are the way in which we throw our arms up in an attempt to catch the wind of the muse who is blowing in a direction that we just wouldn’t have thought of. You see we are inspired, creative beings. Inspired because we have the surge of energy it took to sing planets and the cosmos into being coursing in our veins and that song is no the tip of our tongue like an old memory we cant quite recall. IT’s there, it always is, but we have to hoist the sail, raise our arms, raise the canvas… do something that will allow that wind to catch us in its gale and point us forward.

We also need that heavy, weighty, knowing that comes with sometimes stopping and setting anchor for a time. FOr me its hard to slow down. If I’m not working, I’m cleaning. If I’m not organizing I’m thinking about it or making a list of things I need to do in order to get organized. You see I’m always preparing, but never hoisting het sail. It’s part of the fear of outcomes that keeps me from acting on those inspired moments.
I think I’m probably leading you astray a little bit here. You see I am inspired, I do work. But I know that because I’m geared more towards the end, not the means to the end. I’m not as interested in the process most of the time. I want the end product, the accolades, the applause, the “attaboy”. The thing that somehow all artists want, but very rarely do we receive in the amount we’d hoped. It’s all a flash int he pan anyway.


But I think I’m getting off-topic. Where does this muse, this inspiration come from again? It comes from weighing anchor and settling into daily rhythms and practices, and processes that will allow us the tenure to gain a bit of momentum in our work. Almost simultaneously we are hosting our sails as to say “I’m ready” and in working, waiting… patiently and painstakingly hovering over our workspace we notice out of the corner of our eye a page or string of hair catching a breeze, then we feel it, the soft puff of inspiration begins to blow in over the water, and all at once the sail begins to fluff and puff its chest like breathing in a chestful of ocean air when you step out of the car for vacation… its here, the inspiration is here… now where will it take you. It’s time to hoist the anchor, its time to set sail.
*perhaps I need to have a sentence or short paragraph explaining the step before setting sail. This book is an invitation to navigate the tension. Eternal being grounded and rooted and also attentive the spirit. It’s that very tension that is the crucible for the creative life. Without this tension, we would most likely miss out on the inspiration that comes with daily rhythms and practices as well as the impromptu moments when the muse comes knocking.

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