Dear Friends ~ To create, no matter the artform, is a tender and vulnerable calling. When my partner, Luke, makes a basket, he starts in the woods, at the edge of a field, or by a roadside where he quietly notices. He looks for the specific plants he'll use, observing whether they are abundant or few, and whether they are at the ideal point in their growing cycle. Eventually, after he has respectfully harvested vines or taken a young tree, he carries the plants home, now responsible to whittle them down carefully and prepare them to be woven or joined together. This is the part of the creative process that recalls Michelangelo's famous quote: "Every block of stone has a statue inside it, and it is the task of the sculptor to discover it". Like a writer staring at a blank page, or a potter holding a lump of clay, there is a necessary courage inherent to opening oneself to a practice that has no guaranteed outcome.
Paul Tran's poem, "The Cave", begins:
Someone standing at the mouth had
the idea to enter. To go further
than light or language could
go. As they followed
the idea, light and language followed...
I love to imagine that "idea" to be the impetus that inspires any of us to transform the human experience into created forms. And I love to imagine "light and language" to be any craft that draws us back into the beauty of the world.
It was a delight to compile the quotes for this issue of Friends of Silence and to reflect on the mysterious (and sometimes unnerving!) facets of the creative process that we open ourselves to in order to offer our gifts back to the world. ~ Joy