I love how nonlinear life is: how shifting and movement in one area of your life can influence another. That’s why taking a walk can trigger ideas, that’s why slacking off and playing a game with a kid can help you solve problems. Sometimes it can be easy to fall into a rut—which to me is an (unhealthy?) embrace of stillness/stagnancy in a certain area of life. There has been a stillness in my physical environment, my art has been languishing in closets, wrapped up in the dark. This weekend, I enjoyed wonderful little sparks of activity that reminded me of what it feels like to connect with my creativity. The first spark came when I was trying to give my daughter and her friend something productive to do. They painted a sign, I went behind them to finish it up and that bled into me finishing a painting of my own. Then I went to see a neighbor play music for a band that has been out of commission for many years, and I ended up hanging up new artwork in the apartment.
I am fascinated by what stops us from moving and what gets us going. Sometimes the best way to get moving is to move anything—a conversation, a thought, some art, some furniture, an idea, an obstacle. And, as you’re pushing forward, let go and allow the thrust of motion to permeate the rest of your life.
All of this ruminating is a form of moving things forward. It reminds me of a post I wrote in 2005, inspired in part by a wonderful book called Free Play by Stephen Nachmanovitch. We can give ourselves the most potent gift ever by allowing ourselves to detour into “pointless” creativity that seems to have no point, no importance, and no profit. In so doing, we are perfectly poised to open the floodgates and let in the muse and let out our creative genius.
Be well. Be love(d).
Kiini Ibura Salaam