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.
To pray you open your whole self
To sky, to earth, to sun, to moon
To one whole voice that is you.
And know there is more
That you can't see, can't hear;
Can't know except in moments...
...we must take the utmost care
And kindness in all things.
Breathe in, knowing we are made of
All this, and breathe, knowing
We are truly blessed because we
Were born, and die soon within a
True circle of motion,
Like eagle rounding out the morning
We pray that it will be done
Because in trying to articulate what, perhaps, joy is, it has occurred to me that among other things—the trees and the mushrooms have shown me this—joy is the mostly invisible, the underground union between us, you and me, which is, among other things, the great fact of our life and the lives of everyone and thing we love going away. If we sink a spoon into that fact, into the duff between us, we will find it teeming. It will look like all the books ever written. It will look like all the nerves in a body. We might call it sorrow, but we might call it a union, one that, once we notice it, once we bring it into the light, might become flower and food. Might be joy.
Boredom is — yes, the runway of creativity. That's the way I tell my youngest, if she ever says it. I'm like, "Great! You're bored! That means you're a little uncomfortable. And you know what? This incredible, creative world is right at the edge of that uncomfortableness," because it inevitably happens that you'll have to create your own sense of creativity...
...Your mind is in its most supple, creative state when it's off leash...we need to create more space off leash. And even now, when I step in the shower, I think, don't turn on the news, don't turn on anything, and just take a shower, because that's why you have your best ideas when you're in the shower or doing dishes or taking a walk. And we've just filled every waking moment with stimulation and input, and you need time to digest and create new thoughts...and figure out how you think about it and how it integrates to your larger narrative and — it's just such a great thing, to create that space to think.