Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Approaching Innocence

The stupidest possible creative act is still a creative act.  On the spectrum of creative work, the difference between the mediocre and the good is vast.  Mediocrity is, however still on the spectrum: you can move from mediocre to good in increments.  The real gap is between doing nothing and doing something.   Clay Shirky Cognitive Surplus: How Technology Makes Consumers into Collaborators

Act.  Act as if.  But act ...

This morning as I sat down to practice, I was thinking of a comment an actor, Phelim McDermott, made in his blog yesterday - Be innocent to what comes next.  Just about impossible for me to do, this takes an act of grace.  But I have moments of innocence.  And today I touched one of them nearly 25 years old.  I was on a Guitar Craft course, totally clueless to the tuning, composition, and generally terrified of playing.  Robert challenged me to perform at every meal.  He tossed out a few prompts to get me going but boy was I lost.

Sitting alone with my guitar, the next meal was fast approaching.  I thought of my favorite person in the whole world, who now happens to be my wife.  I strummed a chord, than another and suddenly a simple yet beautiful piece of music emerged.  I do not know why, did not then nor now.  I did not know the names of the chords, but I did have taste and knew music when I heard it.

Today as I do many days I began with that piece - A Journeyman's Way Home and it put me in that space of innocence and openness.  Approaching innocence like this sets the tone for the work that follows, provides hope that more will be revealed and just plain warms my heart.  When I toy with an idea that does not bear fruit, I know that learning has still taken place.  Knowing where not to go with a musical idea is just another sign on the path.  Moving along the path increases the opportunities to encounter music.  Probing with innocence provides a chance to encounter life.

Pick up your instrument be it one of notes, words, colors, objects, dance, design, business, math ...  Go forth where no man has gone before or go where they have, we all miss something.  Just go.  Now.

Photo by Bilal Kamoon

1 comment:

  1. I like your posts Patrick; some more than others. This is one I like more.