Monday, March 16, 2009


last night i watched a phenomenal talk by Elizabeth Gilbert on creative genius (you've got to see it, it's so good), and she talks, among other things, about the creative process of Ruth Stone, which apparently involved ready-made poems galloping across the fields and running straight into and through Ruth, at which point she in turn had to run to make it to a pen and paper before the poem galloped on and out of sight. and listening to it, i realized that, crazy mad as it may sound, that's pretty much how my creative process works (the process, mind you, not the result (which fails to even vaguely visit the vicinity of the work of Ruth Stone)).

now with most things creative (writing, sewing, drawing, painting, etc.), i am a slow, hesitant creature whose efforts revolve around the dreaded yet comfortable concept of 'discipline, discipline and more discipline'. but there are some things, specifically poems and little white clay women, which freakishly run at, through and out of me fully formed, and at mind-blowing speed (if, that is, i manage to get to the materials on time). the little white women in particular fascinate me. i never think of them as art or anything, but they come out with great urgency: i sense them before they are there, and then suddenly, have to rush to get to the clay box (yes, sometimes (often) in the middle of the night). the most amazing part of it to me is the speed at which they are realized. and the utter lack of thinking. within two to three minutes from sitting down, it's done. and they always look exactly right. there is no hesitation, not a single false movement, my hands know exactly what to do, and they have to rush to keep up with whatever it is that is working through me (the local creative genius, according to Elizabeth Gilbert and the ancient romans). it's a bit weird.

i call them little 'goddess figures', and prop them up around the house, to do their protective work, like the good-intentioned spirits that they are. the only thing is that i can't get too attached to any of them, because Antoine breaks them with greater gusto and at greater speed than i make them.
(RIP little standing goddess in the kitchen window sill).

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