Friday, June 16, 2017

Breaking the Creativity Block

It's kinda like having nasal congestion and being unable to blow your nose.....well, that's not a very elegant way of saying it but, yeah, I've been trying to break through the dreaded Creativity Block.  Oh, I've had ideas and I have spent quality time with my Brilliant Box (more about that in this post).  And subsequently I spent hours and days and weeks at my work table doing precisely nothing.  I was stuck.  Couldn't move no matter how hard I tried. 

What was the problem?  Well, something (never you mind what it was) hurt my feelings.  So I blamed myself for a situation that very likely had little to do with me.  And the end result was that I purposely destroyed all of the creative stuff that I had been working on (took it apart, chopped it up, threw it out), and thus I became as inert as a rock.

One of my college professors said something one day in class that struck me as profound, and I've never forgotten it:
True art entertains twice. 
First the art entertains us;
then we entertain the art.
Years later, that is still my gauge for knowing whether something is really good.  (Now I'm not saying that what I do is art because it really isn't, and that's beside the point anyhow.)

Initially we are "entertained" (amused, diverted, surprised) by a work of art.  The art reaches us for a moment.  But if the art is Real, if it has meaning, if it has value, then we will know later when we secondarily "entertain" (think about, meditate on, re-assess) the art--when we consider it in silence even though we are no longer present with the object, when the impact stays with us, when we cannot stop thinking about it because it has an important lesson to impart.

Sometimes even a TV show can have that sort of artistic resonance, can have an important lesson to teach.    And sometimes things bubble up in memory like vegetables do in simmering soup.  For several days, scenes from one TV show kept popping up in my memory until, finally, I knew that I had to search it out online to see it again.  I binge-watched all ten 20-minute episodes in an afternoon.  When I was done, I felt better.  And I unexpectedly returned to that sense of knowing that comes of being at peace with who you are and with what you are meant to do.  Without even thinking about it, I picked up my tools and began to work. 

Will I tell you what the TV show was?  Probably not.  I'm unlikely to volunteer the information, although I'd never lie if asked.  I will say that it is a little-known, mostly-forgotten JDorama that is far better than anything we'd ever see on TV here in the US where the topic might be seen as trite or where most folks would complain about reading subtitles.  But that stuff doesn't matter--I was inspired and healed by the watching of it; it came back to me again and again.  That's art.

Sometimes we just need a little reminder of who we are.
Life is good.

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