C: The Courtesies Of Creativity
The Wishbone Alphabet – an experiment, of course, with attitude, life and the eponymous soup.
Much creative work requires reflection, and it’s easy to get over involved with your self. Sometimes I am sat writing and my family want to talk to me. Sometimes I feel cantankerous about this; have even been known to mutter to myself like a seething little goblin; but however brilliant that interrupted sentence was, it is unlikely that the world will stop turning without it. I am (even if begrudgingly) mindful of the importance of the interruption.
I can’t remember why, but I was once asked if I were trapped in a burning art gallery with a cat, would I rescue a beautiful timeless work of art, or the cat? Most people, including me, would choose the cat, even if it were the scratchy kind, all spit and claws. Those that would choose the artwork might want to share the miraculous inspiration of the art with future generations. But without life meaning anything, what’s the point of art?
True, some selfishly creative people have made amazing art: art fuelled by the excesses of their fractured, imperfect selves. Sad stories have their own kind of beauty, like a glacier or a volcano, extremes that are stunning. A life that does not experience pain, isolation, loss, or disconnection is rare. We can relate to the excesses, they help to express our own troubled emotions. I don’t advocate a life without feeling, I don’t think there’s much to be learnt from that. I advocate finding a balance. It’s what I’ve been quietly doing all these years, when maybe to fulfil my creative potential I should have not had a family, or ignored them more, but then I also think, if you don’t know anything about ‘ordinary’ life, what can you possibly have to say about it?
I have allowed myself to be interrupted, and what I have learnt from this simple act of politeness is an awareness of being part of a present moment, which is unique and fantastic if only I stop to look at it correctly.
‘If we take eternity to mean not endless chronological time but stepping out of time altogether then eternity belongs to those who live in the present.’ Wittgenstein.