Tuesday, February 23, 2016

365 True Things: 331/Engagement

The other day I wrote about not liking the word hobby, at least as applied to the things I like to do. But I hesitate to call the things I like to do "passions," either. I enjoy them, sure; but I enjoy doing a lot of things; no one activity outweighs any of the others in my emotions.

My wonderful sister-in-law Patty responded to that post by mentioning David Byrne's observation that what really matters in life is engagement, with our work, with our lives.

That struck a chord, because that's exactly what I enjoy about my "hobbies": they pull me in and I find myself wholly in the moment. It's "flow," as coined by Mihály Csíkszentmihályi in his book Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience (which I have but have never read; perhaps it's time).

I went searching for David Byrne's actual words, which I could not find. But I did find some other pithy quotations of his, which I will park here for my own inspiration. And then, naturally, a YouTube rendition of "Burning Down the House," just because.
Deep down, I know I have this intuition or instinct that a lot of creative people have, that their demons are also what make them create.

I use a stream-of-consciousness approach; if you don't censor yourself, you end up with what you're most concerned about, but you haven't filtered it through your conscious mind. Then you craft it.

I always think the everyday is more relevant than anything too grand because we all have to deal with it.

Having unlimited choices can paralyze you creatively.

Most of our lives aren't that exciting, but the drama is still going on in the small details.

I love getting out of my comfort zone.

I'm very much into making lists and breaking things apart into categories.

To some extent I happily don't know what I'm doing. I feel that it's an artist's responsibility to trust that.


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