conversationI wrote a blog post last June and for some reason I decided not to publish it.

I stumbled across it again this morning on my hard drive...

I re-read it and thought that maybe I should have shared it after all...

So here it is...

 

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I was sitting alone in my creative studio on the dawn after summer solstice morn.

I had just come to the end of a demanding two-year building project and I was searching for my next thread of creative inspiration.

As the renovation edged towards its conclusion, I had merrily fantasized about the idea of being able to finish one creative project and seamlessly move straight onto the next. 

I had spent months imagining this immaculate transition…

It was if I was about to flawlessly release a starry-eyed beauty at a barn dance and then nonchalantly maneuver into the arms of yet another.

But instead, when the time arrived, my ‘dosey-doe’ mosied me straight into a dark corner of the cow shed.

When I arrived in this seemingly desolate space, I noticed that my expectant hope had quickly morphed into a kind of feeble prayer.

Desperate to bypass the growing feeling of emptiness that was welling inside of me, I metaphorically fell to my knees and I pleaded with the Creativity Gods to bless me with my next big idea…

As I paused for effect, it quickly became apparent that perhaps their intentions were a little different from my own…

The true test of a creative

One of the true tests of a professional creative is being able to patiently sit in the nothingness waiting for the next flash of inspiration to emerge.

Getting on and off the bus is easy. So too is riding along with it. 

But idly waiting at the stop, not knowing when the next bus is going to arrive, that is where the torment arises…

Now although I have spent a lifetime in creative thought, I have no suitably scientific explanation for where ideas come from.  

Sure I have honed my own creative practice over the years, but it isn’t by any means fool proof.  Sometimes the golden ideas come naturally.  Other times they prove to be far more elusive.  

The 'vending machine of creativity'

If only there was a ‘vending machine of creativity’, one that you could just put coins into and have the candy drop every time…

As much as a part of me would like to tap this kind of predictable exchange, in my experience that’s just not how the process of creativity works…

And so it is with life…
 
The 'fallacy of fallowness'

Sooner or later as we progress along the journey of life we will be led into periods of fallowness, whether it be creatively, in our careers or in our relationships.

As humans we seem to share a collective dread of these empty spaces.

I have long suspected that it’s only in these moments of apparent emptiness that we can catch a glimpse our own fullness.  

Perhaps this is why we fear these voids so much, as they hold the very real danger of bringing us face to face with the forgotten and misplaced parts of ourselves…

A true friend is one who empties us...

When I first heard the song ‘Your Million Sweetnesses’, by folk singer Diane Cluck, I gasped at the poignant beauty of her lyrics…  I still remember listening to them as if it were yesterday…

‘And I do recall that my very best friends are the ones that left me empty… and ready to be filled again’.  

Listening to those words was like having a 40-foot wave brake on top of my head, kicking me backwards and dragging me to the bottom of the ocean before suddenly releasing me into the equisiteness of an unimaginable freedom.

The blessing I had been searching for…

My thoughts returned to the Creativity Gods… I started to warm up to the idea that perhaps this empty feeling was the very blessing that I had been searching for…

Despite my heavy heart, I considered that maybe their sense of timing was a little more sophisticated than my own.

And rather than me waiting for them…

Perhaps it was they who were patiently waiting for me…

To release my misconceptions…

About this precious life…

So they could bless me with the opportunity…

To start out afresh…

All over again…

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Thanks for reading.  Please feel free to post your comments as well as your own insights into the creative process below...