It’s so easy to read remarkable people’s thoughts that resonate so deeply and then to forget them in the course of day to day life to then wonder where to find them again and how to articulate them into ones own language and understanding? Often between my brain and my speech I get stumped and a flurry of disjointed ideas come out. I think for me, one of the problems is that life continues to move so quickly that its often hard to keep hold of these ideas- they seem to slip through my fingers and thought processes, before I have a good chance to sit with them and really feel and assimilate them into my body and mind. So, I am thinking that if I write them down – a bit like jotting down ideas – mine or those inspiring passages I come across in reading or listening- they are made more accessible to return to and think, embellish or question. I get to capture them and have a chance to really study them, a little like I used to collect poor dear insects when I was young so I could really take time with them and see their gossamer wings in the sunlight. We so often live our lives never taking in the details, and it is in the details that the magic resides. This is a time of intense information and image overload with social media and the instant accessibility to information just a tap away on the iPhone. It’s like our whole beings are oversaturated with this stuff that there is no time to dream. And dreaming is so important. And nature is so important. Indigenous peoples have understood nature and its rhythms and how important it is to be in sync with it. Somehow our over-industrialization is not only eroding the natural beauty around us it is also eroding our souls. We are part of nature, nature is part of us. What is within is without, what is without is within. I guess in truth, I am writing this for myself, to get back in touch with my ancestral roots, and the beauty that came from simpler life, ( or perhaps this is just me romanticising what must have been a very difficult, impoverished time living on the land for my ancestors).
Writing also helps with giving meaning to one’s visual work too. Although I do believe that a visual language doesn’t always need a manifesto to accompany it to make it worthy, it is good to be working with ideas. I have found that ideas come in snatches a lot of the time. They can easily evaporate if not tended. A little like a garden really. A garden of ideas- what a lovely thought! But as an artist it is hard to find that slither of space between overthinking an idea so that it becomes too prescriptive and twee to ideas that are like fragments in the wind- jumbled and not cohesive. Ideas really do take time to formulate and we as artists are just carriers or channellers of them- or as Elizabeth Gilbert writes in her wonderful book “Big Magic” do ideas form partnerships with us to make them come to fruition? Or they have their own life?
Do ideas have their own souls? I’ve been pondering that the last few days.
Someone once wrote “There is nothing more powerful than an idea whose time has come.” I have been reminded that it was Victor Hugo who first said this ( thanks Sandi :)) The first thing that comes to mind is the Renaissance and the rebirthing of the way we saw things- perspective for one thing. It really was an evolution growth spurt. Last year I was lucky enough to find myself in Venice and visited the Leonardo Da Vinci museum. To see his flying machines built back then from wood – the birth of that idea that took a number of centuries to come to fruition- like the idea was handed down the generations like a baton.