So, last week I declared that I was going to revamp my book "Whale Mapping" in order to submit it to an upcoming group show in the lovely gallery at Cape Breton University. Well, of course, I dithered and dawdled and waited for inspiration to arrive.....in my sleep? While walking the dog? Maybe an image mysteriously appearing on my morning toast? Perhaps reflected in a glass of wine? (Ah, the wine inspiration. So reliable. not.).
Unfortunately, waiting for inspiration rarely produces inspiration.
Reading the Globe and Mail last week I came upon a pithy little nugget of wisdom by the author Wade Davis, a Canadian anthropologist/ethnobotanist/Massey lecturer/"Explorer in Residence" for the National Geographic Society and author of a great book The Serpent and the Rainbow about voodoo zombies in Haiti. This guy is all about self-invention and intellectual creativity. To quote Wade:
"Creativity is not the motivation for action. It's the consequence of action."
Ah. Action. So that's what's been missing.
Action. And a hard deadline. So I set to work, the day before the submission deadline. Thankfully, I do not have to fire up a kiln, hack at a lump of marble or forge iron. I went to work with my little pieces of paper and my sharp little x-acto knife and a ruler. I came up with what I think is a nifty book. I've taken a little wonky video of it for you as this book is so amazingly complex I can barely describe it to you with mere words:
I know. A tour-de-force of form meets function. Profound in it's message delivery. Sometimes I amaze myself.
Therefore, my message to you, Oh 8 loyal followers of my blog, is - well, not a message. It's a question. What primes your pump? What makes you create when you're just not really in the mood? For me, other than an oppressive deadline, it is beauty. I know, it's bourgeois and perhaps a bit corny but it's what makes me make. Make things.
I have a photo I took from a trip to France that really sums it all up for me:
This is someone's random act of beauty. Those flowers are not of that vine, growing over the entrance of a 13th century church. Concealed behind that inconspicuously curled leaf is one of those florist's water vials that holds the two daisies. Someone placed those flowers there, at the entrance of a church that sits in the middle of about 100 hectares of vineyard, away from everyone and everything.
As small and transitory as this random act of beauty may have seemed to the person who put it there, it was meaningful enough for me to take a picture of it, and to share it with 8 other people, who it may in turn inspire. Now that's powerful. That should prime anyone's pump, I'd say.