Friday, April 23, 2010

You Uncertainly May

Creativity requires the courage to let go of certainties.
~Erich Fromm

There is a certain madness in making art. It does require the ability to let go of what we know, and what we feel comfortable with. It requires the willingness to see the deeper, maybe darker, side of ourselves. It asks that we displace our disbelief for a while. I can get lost in color alone. When I dream, the colors are always vivid and over-bright and, upon waking, the real world seems dull by comparrison.

Not that I put great stock in such things, but as I read my horoscope this morning, one phrase leaped out at me, "...this does not mean you should give yourself over to abandon." Not give myself over to abandon?! It's the Scorpio way, after all, and it's definitely my way. But more than that, art and creativity command abandon. So many of my artsy friends say that when they're "in the zone" they forget to eat, go without sleep, wear the same sloppy clothes for days, and are impressed if they manage to brush their hair. I know that for me, hours go by without me realizing it.

Letting go of certainty is a walk on the wild side. There's a kind of mania in getting involved with anything on a creative level. But, it's a good mania, it's a joyful madness. If there's abandon, it's because we (creative types) are blessed with the ability to abandon this world for a little while. What's so wrong with that? I ignored that ability for a long time. I was frightened and intimidated by it. I was scared what others would think of it. Plus, I had an overwhelming sense of responsibility to stand with absolute reason on terra firma. I was so full of shit.

There are people who spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to travel the world and see different and unusual things. Had I the money, I'd likely be one of them. Art gives me the opportunity to take a trip without ever leaving the farm (and without doing anything illegal). I can abandon the farm altogether. It makes for a very rich life.

The other thing I've found is that once you begin to stretch this ability, the further you can travel. Once you learn to let go of certainties, once you allow yourself to, the uncertain will seem welcoming rather than intimidating. I can't tell you how many times in the past few months I've gone from "Hmm. I'm not sure I can do this..." to "Ooooh! And I can do this... and this... and... hey... what about?!"

Abandon. Who would have thought it to be such a good word? Uncertainty. Who would have thought it to be the best road to travel?

Take a journey this weekend... but don't leave your house. Let me know what you see in your travels.

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