I wanted to write this blog from a quiet place inside of me. After some reflection and some practice I believe that creativity comes from a quiet place, and the by-product of creativity is a creation.
Most times, I’m too busy with being busy that I’m hardly ever quiet, so there isn’t much creativity happening. It’s all noise, and that creation isn’t inspiring or useful to others – hardly anyway.
I had been mulling about creativity, creation and stillness in the past few days. Then I stumbled upon the whole kit and caboodle while preparing dinner last night. What I had been trying to understand is also something that Bruno experiences as a professional chef. He has worked for a lot of very good charcutiers. I asked, what makes one better than aother? He said, for example, he is different from one his former employers, Thierry, because Thierry was a perfectionist. Thierry had the ability to invent new products, because he’s not too concerned with productivity. Meanwhile, Bruno was able to create something new based on parameters he is given by a client. He admits that he didn’t invent what he’s created, but he’s able to reproduce someone else’s idea. I followed with the question, why can’t he create something new and original? He said he’s too busy with being productive. He needs to have time to be quiet to inspire creativity.
I’ve been wanting to give you something worthy of your time, and I didn’t want to rehash something that has been said before or a cliché about life. Though I wanted to remind myself that it’s good to just be still, like telling a child who fidgets to “be still.” Being busy without being rooted to a purpose dissipates energy, and can even lead to an unwanted residue of consequences. (I should have gone home before I deleted some report configuration from an environment which was firstly an embarrassing mistake, and also created more work in the end. The only salvation I grant on this occassion is a Miles Davis quote, “Do not fear mistakes – there are none. ”)
Here’s another analogy. A playwright friend of mine was auditioning actors for a new play. His comment at the end of the auditions was, “there was too much movement of arms and legs from some of the actors, and less focus on what’s being said.” I know what he meant, because when a person is embedded into a character there is a sense of stillness in their demeanor. Less is more. Like makeup, applying less brings out more of the essence rather than covering it up; and over-amplification of the action takes away from the subtext of the conversation.
On my office wall, across from my desk, is a picture of Martin Luther King from the TIME magazine cover (August 26th to September 2nd 2013 issue). There is a remarkable stillness in this image. I wonder what he was thinking, feeling and being. There’s a stillness there that draws me in closer that I put the words “Role model inspire to aspire” beneath the picture.