Artists, if they have any sense, will retreat into their sacred spaces, shut out the noise and let the story unfold. Maybe that’s what keeps us creating … keeps us moving forward. It’s been said, that stillness (alongside love) is one of the most powerful resources we hold and therefore a gift that we should treasure …
As our lives in this modern world becomes busier and more exposed on social media; Instagramming our lives, blogging our thoughts and tweeting our judgements, the less time we spend in this space of individual silence. So much so that more and more couples are requesting ‘unplugged’ social media free weddings and some businesses are now looking at ways to reconnect and interact with their customers in an ‘old fashioned way’.
Our world has become very much an open book if you wish to step into it. But opening that door, for artists, can be either extremely liberating with new inspirations – or completely smothering with lasting effects of ‘artist’s block’. For some, it can be like an overdose of extremes.
Artist or not, it’s important to step out of the noise from time to time and into the quiet of our inner unconscious. I’ve always believed that “Angels whisper to you when you go for a walk” .. so I treasure this nurturing, humbling time.
There is a special little book titled ‘Zen in the Art of Archery’. It was given to me as a gift by an artist friend many years ago. It was here that I learnt the magic of stillness and began to understand its importance. Between the covers of less than 100 pages, Eugen Herrigel, a German Philosopher, takes up the practice of archery in Japan, in order to understand Zen.
Significantly, ‘Archery is not practised solely for hitting the target; the swordsman does not wield the sword just for the sake of outdoing his opponent; the dancer does not dance just to perform certain rhythmical movements of the body’… Transcending technique allows us to become our art. It is in this space of pure creation that the work we produce becomes individual and celebrates the journey of creation.
Julie Cameron encourages readers to write three ‘free-thought’ pages every morning when they first wake, in her popular ‘Artist’s Way’ books. No direction, no outcome, just scribe for three pages. From experience, I’ve learnt that these seemingly absorbed ramblings serve to quiet a busy mind as it finally gets its voice heard in written form. It’s through these writings that the bossy conscious mind is silenced. It’s from these pages that often the greatest liberation occurs. Clarity, connection and most often guidance from within… and you can’t beat that!