Saturday, June 11, 2011

Space and Creativity

There must be some connection between space and creativity. The most creative people seem to choose to be away from the noise and madness of day-to-day life, making an appearance only to seek some inspiration, to be in touch with life and take the idea or experience away so they can use it later. Or they would drop by to escape the sheer monotony of working alone, being alone. Chaos and structure, space and matter, extreme concentration and  a period of complete relaxation exist side by side to bring out the most creative stuff in the artists. Of course the space is in the mind. It is the product of a meditative existence.

Like they say, the experts are more interested in the spaces between the lines - the empty spaces are as important as the painted matter that fills, the silences are as important as the music, the unsaid is more profound than the said, the shadows are as important as light. As we explore deeper and deeper it becomes apparent that it is probably more about the silences, the shadows, the empty spaces and the unsaid words. It is because of these that the other parts are sustained or enriched.

After a long period of searching relentlessly for that key representation of the idea, that core that represents my big idea, I find it always falling in place during a quiet walk by myself. Mot creative ideas, the best metaphors, the lines, seem to fall in place when there is a silence, an emptiness in your thoughts.. That is when there is space to create because I can see that my mind has stopped buzzing. It normally stops buzzing when it has nothing to prove to anyone.

I am not running, I am not going anywhere in a hurry, I am not meeting anyone anytime soon. I am on a leisurely walk for an hour or more and there is no one with me. 'What, nothing to prove, no one to impress, nothing to show off, nothing to act busy with? Then why should I buzz around like a madonna here? I am going.' And then there is the space.

And in the small spaces that appear in the mind arises a sliver of a thought, a new idea, inspired by a leaf, a stone, a lake, a bird. The key is to let the mind not start planning soon enough about what to do next - give yourself no fixed agenda, and a long enough time - and the mind gets fooled, the ego quietened.

Push hard, as hard as you can with the logical mind, for the answer. And then take the foot off the accelerator completely. That is when it happens - the space. The creative thought. But again a lot depends on how hard you push, just as how much space you have created in your mind when you let go.

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