The Muse Cometh…in her own time, in her own way.
A ramble here…
I’m at work. I should be doing work things. In fact, I was until just seconds ago when I read a great piece in the NYT called “The ‘Busy’ Trap.” I particularly like this passage:
Idleness is not just a vacation, an indulgence or a vice; it is as indispensable to the brain as vitamin D is to the body, and deprived of it we suffer a mental affliction as disfiguring as rickets. The space and quiet that idleness provides is a necessary condition for standing back from life and seeing it whole, for making unexpected connections and waiting for the wild summer lightning strikes of inspiration — it is, paradoxically, necessary to getting any work done. “Idle dreaming is often of the essence of what we do,” wrote Thomas Pynchon in his essay on sloth. Archimedes’ “Eureka” in the bath, Newton’s apple, Jekyll & Hyde and the benzene ring: history is full of stories of inspirations that come in idle moments and dreams. It almost makes you wonder whether loafers, goldbricks and no-accounts aren’t responsible for more of the world’s great ideas, inventions and masterpieces than the hardworking.
What has happened to the concept of “reflection”? How many times have you stopped and thought about…absolutely nothing…and done that for more than 2 minutes? I don’t mean meditating. I mean the practice of what used to be a reflexive act of spacing out. It’s become more like an Art now. So very few of us do it or do it well. I don’t space out nearly as often as I used to. The interesting thing is that without those mental wanderings to Wherever I find it has become increasingly more difficult to be creative, to have something meaningful to say, to connect pieces together.
How do we keep churning out content — much less truly innovate — if we never have time to Not Think? I haven’t a clue. It feels increasingly like a mouse running in a wheel, going faster and faster but going nowhere fast.
Neil Diamond used to sing “Don’t think…feel. It’s no big deal. Just make it real. And don’t think…feel.”
You know what? It’s become a big deal. Isn’t it amazing? But it really has.