Friday, January 23, 2009

Quote: Creativity

"Very few creative events flow as effortlessly and regularly as one of Johann Sebastian Bach's Brandenburg concertos. More often, they are characterized by the stops and starts, triumphs, reversals, sacrifices, and innovative choices, as the story of Rachel the shepherdess [from the Old Testament]. The story remorselessly clocks the ups and downs of any creative process, which characteristically contain stages of ambiguity, imperfection, discomfort, and sacrifice. It quietly demonstrates how the experience of creative achievement does not have to occur consistently through a project or process in order to achieve a desired result. Constant satisfaction is not an indicator of an ultimately satisfactory result. More usually, our most cherished creations withstand and even benefit from a little weathering.

In the first impulse to [begin a project] we are lightening and honey happy; madly in love. We have the strength to move any stone tablet from the top of a well single-handed. When the first flush fades, the reality sets in, and reversals of fortune, and inexplicable sacrifices and compromises, frustrations, disappointments, realizations of our own shortcomings and inadequacies, long lulls, patience, serenity, become almost routine...Having the courage to dispatch stop-and-go circumstances such as these with a soft yet measured heart is a formula that more realistically expresses the optimal progress of creativity and love...

And the setbacks temper the love, and the creativity, and the final product, rather than destroying it. The softness and the ability to be both gentle and bold yields fertile results. When we knit we can access some of these feelings. We work slowly while, to the untrained eye, life apparently passes us by. But we know better."

-----The Knitting Goddess, by Deborah Bergman

The book is full of stories, myths, and wisdom. Oh, and there are knitting patterns, but the real joy is the writing. If you're in the mood, it washes over you in the way only some books can, filling the dry cracks of your soul in a smoothing, buttery prose.

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