Monday, September 21, 2009

The Gift: Unwilling Art

in the sand

I am writing this for myself. And you. Of course, I always write for you.

Still, this week I'm working on a bigger writing project. And I need to remember Hyde's words, "There are at least two phases in the completion of a work of art, one in which the will is suspended and another in which it is active. The suspension is primary. It is when the will is slack that we feel moved or we are struck by an event, intuition, or image."

Sometimes, when I feel pressured, like this week, I want to prematurely move into the "will" stage. I want to force my way onto the page. I begin to feel nervous. (What shall I say to this crowd? Will it be profound, memorable, amusing, interesting... oh, anything worthy at all?)

Right now, I am trying to remind myself of the importance of play. I have the passage I'm speaking on. I have a few words that are calling to me from that passage. I need to scribble them, draw them, dream them, flip them. Play.

Sara on the Beach, photo by L.L. Barkat.

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Blogger Tina said...

L.L. this is so timely for me ...

SO much has gone on ... is going on ... I have so much to say yet I can't seem to put it to words ... I need to "play" too

thanks for the reminder

11:49 PM  
Anonymous Bradley J. Moore said...

This is how I feel many times putting presentations together for work. I led a board retreat last week, and I go through the same thing. It's like pulling on taffy until it takes a certain shape.

I actually never finished Hyde's book, so you are reminding me about the good stuff I haven't gotten to yet.

I am confident that you will pull it off, beautifully.

6:00 AM  
Blogger Laura said...

Hyde comes back to encourage me at some well-appointed times too. I never did get to finish reading...have to tuck the long chapter away for cold winter nights.

I keep working at play (or is it playing at work?)--there's a lot to learn there.

3:26 PM  
Blogger Erin said...

The improv of art.

I've let unfinished projects stand quietly in the corner for months, waiting for them to say something to me; to tell me what they need next or which direction to head now.

Without fail, I'll read something, hear a song, have a conversation, happen upon a new medium, or grow up just a little bit more and it will be just the thing the project was waiting for.

It's just that waiting part that kills, huh?

4:47 PM  
Blogger Ted M. Gossard said...

Maybe I try to live in suspension. And if anything comes out of that, well and good. I hope something does. But I just try to live in that in-between place of receiving from God and trying to "get it" myself. Then maybe I'll have something to share from there.

Good thoughts here, L.L.

6:40 AM  
Blogger Billy Coffey said...

The one thing I've learned about writing is that as much as it has to do with what's going on inside you, there's just a lot of it that is beyond my control. I've also learned that the suspended will is just as productive as the active one. I've learned that, mind you. But very often I forget what I've learned...

11:23 AM  
Anonymous Monica @Know-Love-Obey God said...

Bum deal: I am *never* in the crowd! Will you ever be here, ever? :)

2:23 PM  
Blogger Erin said...

Oh wait.
Maybe I don't need to grow up more.
Maybe I need to grow up LESS.

Sometimes that's the very problem. We're all too grown-up about it.


4:36 PM  

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