hungry eyes

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"Don't move the way fear makes you move."

Thursdays are the best days around here because it means it is the end of the week and because my long traipse up the hill is always rewarded by a stop at the Queen Anne Farmer's Market (and usually a cherry bar, or a pretzel knot, or the freshest tastiest peach) and because there is usually something to look forward to about the weekend. Today I am washing sheets and towels and vacuuming and preparing for weekend visitors as I listen to Arvo Part and eat toast for dinner.

I have been graced with an abundance of time here in Seattle and that results in a wide variety of thoughts filtering through my head each day. I don't always know how to gather all the pieces together. I find myself wanting to tidy my thoughts, organize them, or at the very least sweep them into a corner. Often writing helps sort my mind, but I am also trying to learn to embrace the clamor. Just as order is important for creativity, I think clamor can lead to creativity too. Sometimes you have to just release it all and then let ideas bounce, crash, and intersect. I kind of think of it as a process of receive-release-receive.

I keep coming back to those words from Rumi. Don't move the way fear makes you move. Fear makes me strive for order, for structure, for anything that will tell me that my life is not meaningless. Perhaps that is alright at times. We are orderly creatures after all, and certainly the world appears intrinsically orderly, and beautifully so. But it can be dangerous when I look for meaning in order. There is a freedom that comes with allowing yourself to play, or to be attracted to a material for no particular reason, or to embrace failure and realize there is yet grace.

Heather mentioned recently how her photography students in Bolivia seem unable to understand the concept of creativity. In their culture, education is merely rote memorization and regurgitation, and open-ended assignments seem foreign to them. Is creativity merely a cultural phenomenon? Maybe so, and maybe people like Julia Cameron have influenced us in North America. Or perhaps those students, like myself, just need that living thing within to be awakened and a space to let their ideas wander.

[baby's breath, or the prettiest of flowers]

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