Brain scientist Jill Bolte Taylor says our right brains are all about the present moment, taking in a vast collage of sensory information. Our left brains dissect the collage, organize the information, make associations with our past experiences in order to project into an imagined future. At the age of 37, she had a stroke and got to see her brain functioning—and NOT functioning— from the inside. She recently gave an amazing eighteen-minute talk on her "Stroke of Insight" that I highly recommend – in fact, I'm embedding the video into this very post (but you can also watch it here). It's inspiring, moving, funny, and educational. Can't get much better than that.
Thursday, March 27, 2008
Monday, March 17, 2008
Saturday, March 15, 2008
"I have a very difficult time telling the difference between art and life. I don't think that there is such a thing as good creativity, important creativity, unimportant creativity. We have a pecking order. We think it's more important to write a novel than make excellent soup." — Julia Cameron
I've been letting myself off the hook. Instead of morning pages and daily collages, I've been washing dishes, doing laundry, cleaning house, organizing my office, rearranging my books, reading, running errands, cooking, taking walks. Naps. Phone calls from friends. Though I'm still pulling myself up from the flu-mire, regaining stamina, in many ways I'm feeling better than I've felt in months.
Creative energy is like a basil plant. If you don't harvest anything, your plant may grow spindly and weak. If you harvest too much, you deplete its strenght and it will be slow to regenerate. But if you pinch a little here and there, it'll grow back full and strong and bushy and great. (I can't claim full credit for this metaphor, by the way - I don't remember where I heard it, used to describe sexual energy.) (Which, in my opinion, is just another incarnation of creativity, the life force itself.)
To my surprise, lately, I've been wanting to write and collage again. I'd forgotten that feeling.
Looking back, I realize I had myself pruned down to the quick. Just now the leaves are beginning to sprout again, and I'm resisting the urge to greedily pluck at that new growth. No. Instead, I will do another load of laundry, make my stepson a birthday cake, go ice skating, have sex with my husband, strum my guitar, read some poetry, write a letter, go to a gallery, make a date with a friend.
In the meantime, I'll post the last four collages I completed before smitten by the flu. Not right this minute, though, but soon. There's some laundry I'm itching to fold, and a shower I want to take, and I want to do some yoga, and oh, yeah, that birthday cake – I want to make it before the house in inundated with fourteen-year-old boys. I still intend to finish my two-month daily collage commitment, but for now, I'm letting my energy, rather than my ego, take the lead.