. The Vietnamese Buddhist poet-priest, Thich Nhat Hanh, devised an interesting. The whole enterprise of improvisation in life and art, of recovering free play and awakening creativity, is about being true to ourselves and our visions. It integrates material from a wide variety of sources among the arts, sciences, and spiritual traditions of humanity. Interestingly, though it is by a musician, it is very apt and helpful in any field of endeavor.
Man, you can say that about Free Play: Improvisation in Life and Art. Only given 8 lines, and as many chances to react, I had to tap into some totally different aspects of myself to get there. But more important, mistakes and accidents can be the irritating grains that become pearls; they present us with unforeseen opportunities, they are fresh sources of inspiration in and of themselves. But this was not the main thing that bothered me. It was missing structural guidelines such as transition paragraphs, or a general outline in the beginning. This is a whole art unto itself, of vision and revision, playing again with the half-baked products of our prior play. Nachmanovitch asks us to treat every moment of our lives as an input to a creative project: be it a painting, a short story, a computer program, or a story to be re-told.
It brings us into direct, active contact with boundless creative energies that we may not even know we had. It is about where art in the widest sense comes from. As I look back over my journals from that time of life, I constantly carried creative inspiration. The sound of the telephone ringing, and our semiautomatic instinct to jump up and answer it, seem the very opposite of meditation. As I look back over my journals from that time of life, I constantly carried creative inspiration. He has published articles in a variety of fields since 1966, and has created computer software including The World Music Menu and Visual Music Tone Painter.
I remember staying up late into the night underlining passages that felt like a clear expression of a worldview I had never considered. It is about the flow of unhindered creative energy: the joy of making art in all its varied forms. The demands of daily life and my own expectations seem to allow me no time and no room to maneuver. I am tempted to grasp for an easy outcome, a magic potion, a distraction, or else a way to drop the whole thing. There is a stereotyped belief that the muse in us acts from inspiration, while the editor in us acts from reason and judgment. They are filled with too much pseudo-spiritual riffs, or get off track with rants against mainstream society, neither of which did much for me.
We must do some mental housecleaning, collect every negative statement that we ever made to ourselves and thoroughly burn them up, and then allow a generous interval of time for the ashes to settle. What is more, it is full of pretty sensible advice about ways to deal with diversions, distractions and barriers to creative work — be it music, visual or plastic art, sport, writing, dance or pretty much anything else where we need to allow ourselves to be absorbed. Yes, it's sold as an improv skill-booster, but Nachmanovitch dips into every circle of the human hell and ties the ends together neatly with a taut viola string. It is about where art in the widest sense comes from. I only got half-way through this before returning it to the library. The writing is also unnecessarily complicated, often I found I could rephrase a couple of paragraphs in just a sentence or two. Would that Free Play found its way into every school, office, hospital, and factory.
Across the road from us was another survivor, specialising in New Age and similar publications. In the 1970's he was a pioneer in free improvisation on violin, viola and electric violin. The writing is clear, there are just too many ideas in this little book. This book is a reminder, for a writer in long form, that it's not stone on stone, a heavy, exhausting thing. Many of the chapters seemed incomplete.
The thing about play in art, is it's a sign of strength to spare, wind to spare, like someone running a marathon who breaks out into a pirouette. The University does not edit this information and merely includes it as a convenience for users. He also has an extensive career in multimedia work, including dance, theater, photography, poetry, painting, and film. But all too often I identify myself as a part an ego, a solidified self that sees only what is apparent and feels trapped in it. Surrender means cultivating a comfortable attitude toward not-knowing, being nurtured by the mystery of moments that are dependably surprising, ever fresh.
Some parts of the book were too filled with spiritual flummery for my taste, and I didn't like that some is written like if it were the objective truth, even though it's the writer's opinion, theories and own experiences. We are willing to be infinitely patient and persevering. He has taught and lectured widely in the United States and abroad on creativity and the spiritual underpinnings of art. The great lovers, the great world reformers and peacemakers, are those who have passed beyond their individual ego demands and are able to hear the cries of the world. Another thing I found really interesting is that he stresses the importance of allowing your internal muse and intern A lot of things rang true with what I have come to believe about creativity and my own process. It brings us into direct, active contact with boundless creative energies that we may not even know we had. It's given me something to think about while I work out challenges in my dance, particularly.
You should read it though. And I did get there. I didn't know where it was going. The E-mail message field is required. It is about why we create and what we learn when we do.