Friday, March 11, 2011

remembering creativity

"All my scattering moments 
are taken up with my needle." 
~Ellen Birdseye Wheaton, 1851

this last fortune cookie wisdom wednesday brought a series of interesting observations that led me to think deeper on the subjects of silence. peace. meditation. stitching. and how they relate. digging through my photo archives, i realized, too, that there are many different forms of stitching in my repertoire.  i knit; crochet; weave; bookbind; embroider; rya; lacemake with shuttles, bobbins and needles; knot; prod and too many others to try to remember them all here. each and every form of stitch making brings me peace and balance.

peace, for me, however, does not necessarily relate to "quiet".  i'm not one to watch much television, however, music has always been an integral part of my life, whether playing or simply listening to it. to this end, when i am creating, i usually have some form of music on as well. it may be french cafe music; the rhythmic beat of the ivory coast; classical violin; a moody cello piece; modern improvisational belly dance rhythms; or flamenco guitar.  many would not think these to be conducive to creating. but to me, music plays an integral part in silence. it is the language between the silence that makes the silence so enduring.

there is a quote (i can not remember from whom) that says: “music speaks what cannot be expressed, soothes the mind and gives it rest, heals the heart and makes it whole, flows from heaven to the soul.”  for me, this is so completely true. this soothing, healing nature of music creates the perfect space in which i can create.  sometimes, when i am stuck, as i have been most recently, it is because i have forgotten the importance of music in my creativity. my guitar has gathered dust. my duclimer strings remain lax.  my doumbek sits neglected in a corner.  and my stereo stares quietly back at me from a silent shelf.

alan watts wrote: “we could say that meditation doesn't have a reason or doesn't have a purpose. in this respect it's unlike almost all other things we do except perhaps making music and dancing. when we make music we don't do it in order to reach a certain point, such as the end of the composition. if that were the purpose of music then obviously the fastest players would be the best. also, when we are dancing we are not aiming to arrive at a particular place on the floor as in a journey. when we dance, the journey itself is the point, as when we play music the playing itself is the point. and exactly the same thing is true in meditation. meditation is the discovery that the point of life is always arrived at in the immediate moment.” to this, i could easily add the act of creating art falls under the same characteristics. when we create art, it is the act of creating that is the very point of it all. not what others see. not what will be created in the end. but the act of creating in the moment.

i had forgotten these things for a moment. i am glad that i have remembered them again.



  1. Ah sweet music. I share your love of music and for me there is nothing more irritating than a tv blaring in the background, sadly this is often the case with a family of 6! I have managed to sneak a couple of hours of music instead on occasion though, I might make it a permanent arrangement! Your posts always give me lots to think about Joe!

  2. thanks, tallulah! your visits are always welcome breezes in the studio! as are my forays into your wonderful world! so glad i'm taking more time for creative expression and toodling about the web these days...

  3. Music and art two things that can transform a mood in me, instantly! Today I was all anxiety ridden taking my father in law to the doctors and all these sick people coughing around me etc. I was about ready to climb out of my skin, but then I took out my stitching and within seconds I forgot where I was almost. Music does that to me too. I was born short a few wires and am very high anxiety so to calm me is a miracle product. Ha!

  4. so glad, then helen, that you have found music and art to rewire you! :) that is indeed a subtle, and wonderful, blessing!

  5. I like your conclusion. For me creativity is infectious, and best layered and worn. Wrapped and entangled and inspired.

  6. oms! pisky! that is an amazing description!!!! love it! love it! love it! may have to pilfer it in some form or another for something....ha!! yes! yes! fantastic!

  7. ha! there, pisky! you are now quoted at the top of my blog! (applause...applause) wondrous!

  8. Oh wow, I'm honoured! Thank you, you're just too sweet.