Every time the oscillating fan turns towards me it blows the ideas right out of my head.
Blown minds given the right context are a good thing. Right?
Later Saturday night.
The fan is off.
The rumble and hum of traffic fills my head, but it doesn’t oscillate.
In 1928 Sir Alexander Fleming was working in his lab on a cure for influenza. After a two-week holiday he returned to his lab and found mold growing in a petri dish containing staphylococcus. He realized that the mold was inhibiting the growth of the bacteria. Penicillin was born.
We don’t often make discoveries in our studios that impact the world quite in the same way as penicillin. But that element of unexpected surprise may not be as rare as we might think.
Last week I discussed my relationship with ‘Easy Street’ enough to point out that the creative struggle is real. For artists to achieve progress a certain amount of blood, sweat and tears must flow.
Once a level of familiarity or proficiency is acquired, we often are lucky enough to enter into a well-deserved plateau. If we are wise stewards of our practice, we will create as much work as possible in this new place.
At some point, we will reach a degree of exhaustion and probably just have to stop. Oft times, while sitting in contemplation we realize that (often to our own surprise!) we have taken our work to a new level…a rather similar experience to that of our Sir Alexander Fleming.
The takeaway? Working within the confines of a pretty tight series, it is likely that good things can and will happen after yielding to a necessary amount of repetition.
Is it possible that it is the struggle that actually turns us on?
Myself, I have never actually been on Easy Street. I may have crossed over it a few times from a side street.
I instinctively take the scenic route. And my mother told me, nothing worth doing is easy.
A successfully executed artistic process inevitably makes the results look easy.
Not very many people understand the inherent struggle. They don’t see it.
Or we might not want to show it.
Robert Frost concluded his poem, The Road Not Taken, with these lines:
“Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.”
If I ever do find myself on Easy Street, I may just turn at the first light.
Sol [Latin: Sun]
sun across the sky.
Sistere [Latin: To Stand Still]
to get a tan.
Days roll into weeks.
Weeks fold into months.
Months trundle along into years.
Years formulate routines.
Routines beget expectations.
Expectations breed worry.
(Cue Bob Marley)
Rise up this morning
Smiled with the rising sun
Three little birds
Pitch by my doorstep
Singing sweet songs
Of melodies pure and true
This is my message to you-ou-ou
Singing don’t worry about a thing
Cause every little thing gunna be alright…
Worry and expectation impinge on spontaneity.
Spontaneity nourishes creativity.
Referential music link: YouTube