What fuels your creativity?
I’m not talking about what inspires you, I’m asking, perhaps more accurately, what stokes the flames of your inspiration?
Lately I have retreated into a shell of contentment and domesticity. You see, I have found a kitten and I have adopted him. I’ve been running all over Calcutta to find him a vet, toys, food and a litter tray. Not a mean feat in this city of dog lovers, and ‘the wary of cats’. In return he has entertained me and loved me, playfully nibbling on my fingers and tugging at my heartstrings.
As a result, although I have much to write about, I have not felt the inclination to sit still for any length of time to do just that. I have wanted, instead, to take care of my new little one and to watch it spring and leap and snuggle and wrap it’s way into my home.
I have always had lots to write about, but this passed week has left me at a loss. I just didn’t feel the urge to write. It wasn’t until I had stopped running around, when I stood still, by myself and forcefully stopped to reflect, that I have managed to be inspired.
I had to be alone. I had to be still. One day, I mentioned to a good and wise friend that I would like to meditate. “What is meditation?” she asked me.
“To know one’s soul, I replied.”
“Any type of focused activity is meditation. To lose yourself, your ego, in your work, is meditation,” she said.
I shrugged my shoulders, not really being able to reply and filed the conversation as one that I was not ready to understand, just yet. But after all of the hectic goings on recently, I stopped and I questioned why I had not written. For a moment I was lost. I think, the ‘I’ literally was lost and all that remained were words. It is a process I am familiar with, but had never quite thought about. To think about the ‘I’ as an observer, to watch your thoughts as they come and go, to catch them, to note them down, to release them, surely that is a form of meditation.
But to do this I need solitude. I need to be still, perfectly still. My eyes focus on nothing and my breaths are even. This is what I need to create.
The mind is like water, it has been said many times. Restless thoughts rush to the surface, like silt, when the water is stirred. We must learn to control our thoughts, make the waters of our minds still. I do this every time I sit down to write, I realise. This is what stokes the flames of my inspiration.
So in response to my friend, “Yes, this is my meditation, just as yours is your art.”
So, how is it that you create? Your thoughts, like my new kitten leaping, pouncing, constantly distracted, how do you still them, how do you calm them long enough to produce your art?