For me, being genuine is of critical importance. As someone who strives to be creative, I find the most difficult aspect of the process is to capture a true moment of inspiration. If someone is taking in something I’ve created then I want him or her to receive a real representation of the thought that went into it, but unfortunately many of my representations are rehashed semi inspired pieces who’s original burst of creativity has been lost somewhere in the past.
How do I make something genuine when the ideas that are feeding the creativity are almost instantly fleeting? For example, I received inspiration to write this piece while watching Waking Life. At one point in the movie two characters are talking about the power of film to help viewers see the value in the everyday experiences that make up their existence. A moment as simple as taking coffee with a friend can take on a whole new importance when observed from a third party perspective. While these two guys are talking about these “holy moments” they attempt to throw themselves into one by taking on an observer role and trying to be present in the moment. They end up discovering that they have a hard time making the moment feel genuine because they’re too involved in thinking about the moment to just let it be what it will be. I think the same difficulties are present during the creative process. Once conscious thought and forced direction takes over the free flow of an idea or action, something very important is lost in the process.
I imagine it to be this feeling of connection to a new perspective on reality, an immersion into a new world where anything is possible. It’s a feeling that I believe can only be felt when true ambition is captured in the creative process. When that occurs a creative work takes on its own life, a spirit that can provide awe to those who experience the work. And to truly capture that ambition seems so incredibly difficult when it becomes your goal to capture it. It’s this paradox that seems impossible to navigate, but yet many successful artists do it regularly. How?
Writing this post has been incredibly difficult for me, because I find myself fighting against the flow of my present thought process to recreate a previous process. I worry that my writing, comedy, or any other creative project that I work on will never meet it’s original potential because I don’t know how to overcome this obstacle. One possible solution that has been somewhat effective in the past has been to go over my work and do many edits, but even then I feel like I can’t materialize my true thoughts. But maybe the problem isn’t navigating the flow of the moment as much as it is the capturing of the moment. In this instance language poses a problem. We have this system of symbols that helps us communicate our thoughts and feelings, but really it’s completely inadequate when trying to discuss complex and abstract ideas. When I have a revelation in my mind, I think that there is this long paragraph of words going through my head that I’m reading off, but in actuality a big part of my thought process are these strings of complex feelings that shape the dialogue. Imagine that you’re in a dream, and it seems so logical and put together. But then you wake up and you realize that there was in fact so much missing. You can’t possibly begin to describe the experience, because the dream itself was so abstract.
Last night I dreamt that I was biking to school in Douglasdale, jumping over other bikes along the way and navigating treacherous snowy paths. But upon waking I remembered that there were no houses, no sidewalks, no trees…just the idea of a neighborhood. Even though there was no detail I still knew I was in Douglasdale. It was like my imagination had abstractly filled in these blanks in my dream process, providing feeling and thought without any actual visualization of the moment. It’s this “filling” effect that happens in our brains when we think about an abstraction that is hard to communicate externally, at least that’s how it seems to me. Or maybe the thought process is simply too fast at times to capture adequately. Your mind is working a mile a minute, while your mouth or fingers are only able to pour out words at half that speed. This could also explain why I have these huge revelations when I’m zooming through space with psilocybin, but have an incredibly hard time conversing with friends when I’m at the peak of the experience. The thoughts are there, but to construct structure and then to distribute the structure takes too much time to accomplish. But maybe I just don’t have the storytelling ability; the gift of gab that allows an individual to gather many different tidbits of information from the brain and order it in a way that achieves a communication goal. Sometimes in conversation I can get there, but to do it artificially is very difficult for me. Maybe that’s what separates the geniuses from the laymen; the ability to compile information in a successful manner no matter what situation or stimulus is present.
Needless to say, I don’t consider myself intellectually gifted, just someone who wants to get better at sharing my perspective. I feel like I have something to contribute to the world of information, but actually doing so seems incredibly hard. I want to take part in the global evolution of ideas, but how much of my participation depends on the ideas that I have, and how much of it depends on the communication of the idea? It seems to me that the communication is everything. You have to be able to connect people to your idea, to somehow achieve the goal of understanding. Is creativity about expressing yourself, or showing other people aspects of themselves? I supposed I have to walk the walk and find out for myself, but I feel like I’m only just beginning to crawl.