Creativity Is Subtraction

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I made a soup a few weeks ago that was terrible. I simply put too many things in the mix. I was so disappointed with how it came out. But it was a great reminder! I really feel (and eat) best when I ferociously edit and narrow down what I am doing. When I savor and fully dive into the wonderful world of very few ingredients.

Working within constraints works for me. I think that’s why I dig minimalism and the barebones-ness of Zen. It’s also a big part of the art that I typically admire.

I love the darker works of Sean Scully. The paintings that are all black are so divine to me. For example; Fort #2 1980, and Blue 1979. I can stare at Blue 1979 for hours. Not to sound dramatic, but it’s like I’m in the womb. I think that’s also why I love looking at the sky at 3AM. The dark vastness of it all, it’s beyond words — so humbling and inspiring.

Anyway… somehow, all of this thinking made me think of Austin Kleon. (That’s how my brain works. It’s always connecting dots in strange ways.) I’m going to embed a bunch of Autin’s work below. Just to give a feeling of creative process, and the tenacity it takes to edit one’s life and one’s work. (Which to me is the same thing. As an artist, I don’t separate the two.)

The skeleton image shows how to take criticism for your choices. The cliff edges show how scary life can feel when you go for what you want. Every image is a reminder of the journey. And I always relish reminders.

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All images are the art of Austin Kleon

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Hellah’s Run Across America

Hellah Sidibe

Hellah Sidibe’s Instagram–> link
Hellah Sidibe’s Run Across America–> link

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The Art of Lucien Hervé

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All photography by Lucien Hervé

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The River and the Sea

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“A friend who is far away is sometimes much nearer than one who is at hand. Is not the mountain far more awe-inspiring and more clearly visible to one passing through the valley than to those who inhabit the mountain?”

“In the sweetness of friendship let there be laughter, and sharing of pleasures. For in the dew of little things the heart finds its morning and is refreshed.”

“For life and death are one, even as the river and the sea are one.”

“Progress lies not in enhancing what is, but in advancing toward what will be.”

“But let there be spaces in your togetherness and let the winds of the heavens dance between you. Love one another but make not a bond of love: let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls.”

“There are those who give with joy, and that joy is their reward.”

“Your living is determined not so much by what life brings to you as by the attitude you bring to life; not so much by what happens to you as by the way your mind looks at what happens.”

“And forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet and the winds long to play with your hair.”

Quotes by Khalil Gibran
Artwork by Jocelyn Edin

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The Most Successful Story Ever Told

believing a story

The video will explain what that story is. This is a quote from the ending of the video:

“We humans control the world because we live in a dual reality. All other animals live in an objective reality. Their reality consists of objective entities, like rivers, and trees, and lions, and elephants. We humans, we also live in an objective reality. In our world, too, there are rivers, and trees, and lions, and elephants. But over the centuries, we have constructed – on top of this objective reality – a second layer of fictional reality. A reality made of fictional entities, like nations, like gods, like money, like corporations. And what is amazing, as history unfolded, this fictional reality became more and more powerful; so that today, the most powerful forces in the world are these fictional entities. Today, the very survival of rivers, and trees, and lions, and elephants depends upon the decisions of fictional entities, like The United States, like Google, like The World Bank – entities that exist only in our own imagination.”

– Yuval Noah Harari

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Try Something Different

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“Take someone who doesn’t keep score,
who’s not looking to be richer, or afraid of losing,
who has not the slightest interest even
in his own personality: he’s free.”

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“The breezes at dawn have secrets to tell you
Don’t go back to sleep!
You must ask for what you really want.
Don’t go back to sleep!
People are going back and forth
across the doorsill where the two worlds touch,
The door is round and open
Don’t go back to sleep!”

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“At night, I open the window
and ask the moon to come
and press its face against mine.
Breathe into me.
Close the language-door
and open the love-window.
The moon won’t use the door,
only the window.”

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“My heart is so small
it’s almost invisible.
How can You place
such big sorrows in it?
“Look,” He answered,
“your eyes are even smaller,
yet they behold the world.”

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“Keep walking, though there’s no place to get to.
Don’t try to see through the distances.
That’s not for human beings. Move within,
But don’t move the way fear makes you move.”

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“Put your thoughts to sleep,
do not let them cast a shadow
over the moon of your heart.
Let go of thinking.”

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“When someone is counting out
gold for you, don’t look at your hands,
or the gold. Look at the giver.”

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“Whenever we can manage to love without
expectations,
calculations,
negotiations,
we are indeed in heaven.”

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“Be crumbled.
So wild flowers will come up where you are.
You have been stony for too many years.
Try something different.
Surrender.”

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“This poetry. I never know what I’m going to say.
I don’t plan it.
When I’m outside the saying of it,
I get very quiet and rarely speak at all.”

——–

All poems & quotes by Jalaluddin Rumi

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Always Present, Rarely Perceived

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“Once you know with absolute certainty that nothing can trouble you but your own imagination, you come to disregard your desires and fears, concepts and ideas and live by truth alone.”

“Love is not selective, desire is selective. In love there are no strangers.”

“I live on courage. Courage is my essence, which is love of life. I am free of memories and anticipations, unconcerned with what I am and what I am not.”

“A quiet mind is all you need. All else will happen rightly, once your mind is quiet. As the sun on rising makes the world active, so does self-awareness affect changes in the mind. In the light of calm and steady self-awareness inner energies wake up and work miracles without effort on your part.”

“The world is like a sheet of paper on which something is typed. The reading and the meaning will vary with the reader, but the paper is the common factor, always present, rarely perceived. When the ribbon is removed, typing leaves no trace on the paper. So is my mind – the impressions keep on coming, but no trace is left.”

“All you need is to stop searching outside for what can be found only within. Set your vision right before you operate. You are suffering from acute misapprehension . Clarify your mind, purify your heart, sanctify your life – this is the quickest way to a change in your world.”

“Put your awareness to work, not your mind. The mind is not the right instrument for this task. The timeless can be reached only by the timeless. Your body and your mind are born subject to time; only awareness is timeless, even in the now.”

“Co-operate with your destiny, don’t go against it, don’t thwart it. Allow it to fulfill itself.”

“To know yourself, be yourself. To be yourself, stop imagining yourself to be this or that. Just be. Let your true nature emerge. Don’t disturb your mind with seeking.”

“Pain is physical; suffering is mental. Beyond the mind there is no suffering. Pain is essential for the survival of the body, but none compels you to suffer. Suffering is due entirely to clinging or resisting; it is a sign of our unwillingness to move on, to flow with life.”

“In nature nothing is at standstill, everything pulsates, appears and disappears. Heart, breath, digestion, sleep and waking – birth and death – everything comes and goes in waves. Rhythm, periodicity, harmonious alternation of extremes is the rule. No use rebelling against the very pattern of life.”

“Love says ‘I am everything.’ Wisdom says ‘I am nothing.’ Between the two, my life flows.”

All quotes by Nisargadatta Maharaj

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Sean Scully: Painting Relationship

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