A Perilous Journey

Sitting on my patio, I can see the silky thread of a spider web floating by in the gentle stirring of air near the garden. Another thin, shining thread stretches across from one plant to another. It is the beginning of a creation of beautiful symmetry and geometry created by simple garden creatures.

Does that represent creativity and the risk/rewards of it? I can draw a parallel.

Botanical #36

The untethered, delicate strand of spider web that floats by me represents the ideas that come into my head. Things I could do, ways of approaching a problem, and the occasional lightbulb flash are examples of what frequently floats through my head.

The tethered, single threads stretching between plants remind me of the beginning of action upon my ideas. The perils at this point are that if I share my ideas too soon, or plan them too rigidly, they are too easy to become untethered and blown away. Facing criticism and distraction, and failure isn’t for the faint-hearted. When I see a tiny spider making a trek across a barely attached glistening lifeline stretched four feet across the garden path, I admire the courage of that journey and the risk the creature takes one tiny step at a time. There are many failures, but eventually a web is developed.

It’s the same with my own life. If I start small with an idea and see how it connects to other ideas, and then build it up with a combination of intuition and a one “strand” at a time attitude… and if I give myself permission to change, my creative results start to morph into a more mature, robust, and intricate “spider web”.

It is emotionally risky to reveal our innermost selves in front of others in the way that making art does. As an example, I just launched my new website, and then felt sort of exposed to put something so personal out there into the ether. However, I’d speculate that maybe too much protection might hamper creativity. Maybe the risk is really important for stimulating creative thinking, new ideas, critical thinking and learning in general. I guess the perilous journey really applies to living a meaningful life, not just doing artwork!

Takeaways for me

  1. Slow down and set aside specific times to give myself space for ruminating, exploring, and experimenting.
  2. Come from a place of sharing art, of giving. Whether or not I sell what I make, it turns out better if I feel a connection to it and a desire to not keep it to myself.
  3. Spend time on the things that are most important in my life.
  4. Reflect on this pretty much daily to stay on track.
  5. Screw fear. If I am doing it firstly for me, it is easier to take the risks of creativity.

Join me on this daily perilous journey of living more creatively and meaningfully! How do you see creativity in your daily life? Why do you do what you do? Who is it for?

Succulent #78

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