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Archive for the ‘Creativity and Creative Process’ Category

I am compelled to share this with you. It’s  beautiful computer artwork with lovely music and inspirational words at the bottom. What I love most is the way the color dances with the music. It moves like my body wants to move to the sound.

It’s also where I think we are headed with “information” which is more toward storytelling. Artists know there are many ways to tell stories and not always with words.

I also got this sense of life as music and how each drop of color is like each of our lifetimes, fleetingly beautiful and lyrical, dancing away into the void. Creativity is always beginning and never-ending. Creativity wants to breathe new life into the void. We are but the dancers. As the artist, Esteban,  says “There’s a lot of randomness involved here, so there was also a lot of luck, of course.”

A Twitter tweet is how I found it, though I don’t remember the tweeter to thank for this. The tweet referred to the blog site is www.thenextweb.com and I found the video on You Tube to share with you.

Something for our hearts.

Here is the rest of the information as copied from You Tube:

This is a video created by Esteban Diácono to the music of Olafur Arnalds’ Ljósið using Adobe After Effects, particular v2, soundkeys and starglow.

“I first imported the audio and set up 2 sounkeys layers, one for the piano and one for the strings. Then i worked the particles and the particle subsystem and linked things like the emission, the turbulence, the velocity, the spin amplitude and the strength of the fields to the sound key outputs.

“Then i set up the colors with 2 different palettes, and well, after that there was a lot of trial and error in order to achieve what i was looking for.

There’s a lot of randomness involved here, so there was also a lot of luck, of course.”

Original words copyright (c) September 2009, Kathy J Loh, all rights reserved
The rest is the property of the artist and the musician quoted and shared here.

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When my thoughts get stuck in spin-cycle, it’s usually because I’m trying to vision a new way of doing something through an old pair of problem-solving lenses. I’m trying to create something new with an old structure. Other times, it’s because I have so much jammed in my mind that I can’t “see” it well enough to organize it. So, I need to get it out in front of me.

One way I do that is by using sticky-notes of various sizes. I color code them and write one item on each note. It doesn’t matter if I’m creating a giant to-do list, creating schedules or writing an article. I find it really helpful to do a big brain-dump of every item related even slightly to the project and then post them on a blank wall. I’m able to then organize them freely by moving them about until their final format completely resonates with me. By completely, I mean with my body, mind, heart and spirit.

Project Brainstorm (Kathy Loh)

Project Brainstorm (Kathy Loh)

This is also a great process of elimination, because it gives me a reality-check as to how much time I really have and how many things I think I can do in that amount of time.  A few “heck yes!” items really stand out on a wall full of “interesting.”

When I am working on a new project, workshop, marketing plan or just creating clarity about who I am becoming now, I will use large re-stickable flip-chart papers. I fill them up with lists, mind-maps, constellations, symbols and images that have something to do with whatever it is I am working on. I don’t always know what it has to do with the project when I add it to the sheet, but the juxtaposition of things sparks ideas. I use plenty of color and I devote each chart to a separate subject. I might mind-map it, collage images and words, show how things connect.  Again, it’s a brain dump that gets it out of my head and in front of me where I can see it. These I post all over the walls of my office so that I can see them individually and together.

(Kathy Loh)

(Kathy Loh)

When I have a period of multiple synchronicities, animal messages, email messages, read a sentence or paragraph that syncs up with something else that’s going on for me, I doodle with them and put them all on one sheet of paper. Then I look for the feedback they are giving me regarding the reality I am creating.

I don’t stop at the notion that a synchronicity tells me I’m on the right path. I assume it tells me to take notice.  Recently, I mentioned to a friend that if it feels like the Universe is hitting me on the head with a repeated message or messenger, I could just as easily assume it’s because I’m NOT getting something and need to pay attention as I could assume it is affirming my direction.

A friend of mine, writing coach and author, Judy Duenow (Judy Baer), once advised me to put all my notes for a book in a basket and let them compost. I like that composting notion and here’s what I’ve added to it. If I’m working on a conundrum, a mystery with which I am living, I move the giant flip-chart papers to my bedroom walls so that they surround me as I sleep.

Words, symbols, images all have vibrations. Their impact is powerful if often subtle or denied. (This is one reason why vision boards can be so helpful in manifesting our desired outcomes.) I’ve noticed that when I put the papers up on my bedroom walls, I have vivid and helpful dreams, insights pop up from my intuition and meditations and answers come to me without my mind getting all knotted up over it. The results are generally more meaningful and creative, when my integral whole (body, mind, spirit, heart) is involved in this composting method, than when my mind takes charge. I get to think outside my normal box, my normal pattern of logic, or otherwise-logic as it were.

It takes patience, though, and I do have to sacrifice nice artwork and décor so that I have blank walls with which to work. My answers might not meet a deadline, but they almost always will be satisfying.  I find less resistance to getting into action when body, mind, spirit and heart are aligned. I’ve discovered that mind loves the extra help and gets to relax a bit. It takes a willingness to live in the dreaming space for an undetermined amount of time and it’s worth it. There’s a lot of tension in not knowing and that tension is the sweet spot of creativity. Creativity loves mystery.

So give it try! The next time you find yourself in a mental spin-cycle, get out the sticky-notes, flip-chart papers, colorful pens, images, scissors and glue and let yourself dawdle a little. Get unstructured. Doodle and noodle. Then let it compost on your walls for awhile and see what new perspectives, connections and ideas arise for you. Let me know how it goes.

Copyright (c) June 2009, Kathy Loh, All Rights Reserved

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Contemplate:

Creating art for near instant destruction…

Creativity as a ritual, as meditation, for your spiritual sanity…

Living from spirit, freely, released from ego attachments…

Joy for the moment…

Taking something to the “edge of its collapse”…(Goldsworthy)

Finding who you are, re-membering who you are in/by the act of creating…

Knowing the whole and each small bit at one and the same time…

Being in-formed by your part in the creative act…

Here are two great inspirations I want to share with you today:

The film: Rivers and Tides: Andy Goldsworthy Working with Time

(here is a YouTube exerpt)

Sand Dancer – in New Zealand…art in the sand that gets washed away with the incoming tide

This is some serious dawdling!

Letting go….letting go…

(note: if you can’t see these, then go to http://www.YouTube.com and search:

Andy Goldsworthy Rivers and Tides

Sand Dancer

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“I got no deeds to do, no promises to keep.”*

Visiting with a friend the other night, we got to talking about dawdling. 35 years ago, she was a busy mother of 3 young children running a family business. As we talked, she reminisced about a morning that truly stands out for her as a special time spent with her son, who is now nearly 40. I asked her to send me the story again so I could get the details correct. Most of these words are hers with some sentence crafting by me:

One day, when her son was 4 years old, they were walking home together from the family business.  What was normally  a ten-minute drive turned into a two-hour walk. It was early spring and it was one of those crisp, crystal clear, sunny days. There was an aliveness to the air as the sun warmed the morning dew, releasing the sweet and pungent odors of grass, flowers and weeds.  In those days, the neighborhood was semi-rural. There were no curbs or gutters. In some yards, chickens played catch-me-if-you-can through holes in the fences.

Mother and son chose a pathway where they could stop to visit horses in someone’s expansive yard.  As they walked, they stopped to investigate the silvery tracks of snails heading for shade as the pavement heated up. She can still see him, a little boy, scuffing the dirt, creating dust clouds with his feet; the dust sticking to the sweat on his face. He climbed a low fence and he tossed the occasional rock.

She concluded her note to me with, “JUST BE and be in motion. NOTICE the details of the world.  A little boy and his mom in communion with the day – precious moments. Makes me smile to this day – 35 years later.”

What are your memories of precious moments and communion with other; with the day?

For me, it’s the time spent outside of time. The time spent lingering in the glow of friendship and love. The time spent on a trail, on the beach, adrift with the notes of beautiful music.  Like that one night with friends, watching the full moon rise over the ocean while listening to shimmering strains of John Abercrombie’s  Timeless.  I remember an afternoon on the beach where everything was perfection; the sound of the waves, the sunshine, the warmth of the sand, the gentle breeze and the sounds of laughter. It drew me in and I had no desire to leave, ever; until the sun began to set and it got chilly and, I would have to guess, I got hungry.

I remember the moment, while performing a piece I wrote specifically for him, when my father’s voice and the notes I was playing on the piano locked in together, rising into a beautiful unexpected crescendo, taking on a life of its own, something really sublime.  It was a moment when the music used us and we did not get in the way.

I remember being 10 and a girlfriend and I lying on our backs on the carpet in the living room, staring up at the ceiling and creating our own laugh-fest. Gosh it felt good! Summer nights bring on the memory of my bare feet on the warm asphalt of the street after dinner;  those delicious extra hours of play and gathering of neighborhood kids that come with the longer days.

I’ve check off plenty of things on my to-do lists and I’ve rarely been anything other than punctual, but there are times when I’ve just had to ignore the clock say to the trees, to my lover, to my dinner guests, to the music on the page, the keys under my fingers, …….”I’m not going anywhere. I’m right here with you.” When I say this to them, am I not also saying it to myself?

And when I think about it, on my list of regrets, not one was due to taking the time to commune, to dawdle, to play.

When all is said and done, what are the memories that will find you smiling as you look back over your life?

What really is worth your time and attention?

Where, really, do you have to be and for what – and – what will you remember about that?

When a moment begs to be savored, another soul needs to be heard and seen, when beauty calls out “over here…over here…” how will we respond?

If we are always “late for a very important date,” as the White Rabbit in Alice in Wonderland lamented, then maybe it’s time to create a margin for dawdling in our schedules.

If we can take the time to dawdle, to linger just a little bit longer and then a little bit longer more, we are saying:

“Life I love you!”*  And life will be very happy to hear that!

*The 59th Street Bridge Song (Feelin’ Groovy)

( Simon & Garfunkel )

Slow down, you move too fast
You’ve got to make the morning last
Just kickin’ down the cobble stones
Looking for fun and feelin’ groovy!
(La,la,la,la,la,la, feelin’ groovy)

Hello, lamp post, whatcha knowing?
I’ve come to watch your flowers growing
Ain’t ya got no rhymes for me?
Doot-in’ doo-doo, feelin’ groovy!
(La,la,la,la,la,la, feelin’ groovy)

Got no deeds to do, no promises to keep
I’m dappled and drowsy and ready to sleep
Let the morning time drop all its petals on me
Life, I love you, all is groovy!
(La,la,la,la,la,la, feelin’ groovy)
(La,la,la,la,la,la, feelin’ groovy)

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Dawdling un-rule #2 is no time, now time.

When we dawdle, we lose track of time, or at least, we stop tracking it momentarily.

(Whether or not time is actually an illusion anyway is another topic, a great one for social dawdling.)

I’ve heard so many creative clients say that one thing they love and fear most about the process of creating art is that they lose themselves in it. They lose track of time and time seems to forget them.

I know this is true for me. If someone calls while I am in the midst of composing, I have a hard time bringing myself out of the music and into the conversation, out of reverie and into, uhm…what day is this? Don’t make me jump from composing to the calendar!

I wonder if this is why we creative types say we want huge expanses of time in which to work; in which to get lost. We dream of a day, a week, a month outside of time. Oh to have the clocks stand still for awhile.

As a child, I naturally dawdled, being so otherwise-attracted to the world around me and the songs within me. I still remember how jarring it was to be called out of my reverie to go somewhere and to “hurry or be late.” Somewhere, I collapsed dawdling and loss of time, even presence, with bad behavior and wasting time.

Dawdling in Glacier National Park

Dawdling in Glacier National Park 2004

What I notice now, is that dawdling expands time. It renders the space between the minutes, the space between the hours longer. Presence creates more time.

It follows then, in my crazy logic, that dawdling is a time saver. (Hey kids, try this one at home!)

Whether we are musing internally, observing outwardly, or living at the intersection of the two, time becomes no-time and our awareness of this moment becomes all of time.

On the clock, an hour is an hour. Within me and my experience of life, an hour is all over the time-map.

If I am willing to surrender to dawdling, surrender to the reverie of musing, I am more able to receive the gifts of the creator (whether you read this Creator or creator)

And here’s my favorite part:

In that deep presence there is no judgment. There is no projection of me on to other people I imagine watching me to make sure that I am behaving. With the suspension of time, comes the suspension of the inner critic.

I am free to sing, to twirl, to follow whatever wants to unfold, to free my body to move more naturally. The other day, this meant walking down the driveway in a switchback pattern and I could not, I just could not do it without opening my arms like airplane wings.

I admit it, I felt a little bit shy and a little bit silly.

I admit it, I felt fantastic!

It was not the straight line home.

It was not the most efficient use of my time and energy, or was it?

(Tomorrow, I’ll tell you the story of the snake that told time)

Copyright(C) June 2009, Kathy Loh, All Rights Reserved

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