Friday, November 09, 2012

Filling My Pitcher

I'm just copying and pasting this exactly from my knitblog. What a lovely evening I've had. Mmm.

There is an old adage that says:

You can't pour from an empty pitcher.

No matter what you do in life, you have to replenish yourself sometimes. Covey reminds us that

You have to sharpen your saw.

How do you fill your creative pitcher? Recharge your batteries? Sharpen your saw? I do lots of things.
A blurry capture of the lady herself as she signed books. 

Tonight, I got a very filling experience which was that I went with friends to see a favorite author, Barbara Kingsolver, at the National Cathedral. I know, I'm very lucky that I can just whip around the Capitol Beltway and go places like that. I try not to take it for granted.

She was inspiring and her reading from her new book fell onto my ears just like water onto thirsty earth. The location was beautiful and imposing. I liked feeling small and awestruck, the way I did in the cathedrals we visited in Europe.
The Nave of the National Cathedral with all the state flags
adorning the columns. I liked that combination. 

About creative work and writing, she said things like this:
Fiction is experience invested with meaning. 

Hmm. I will think about that for a long time. I think it can apply to knit design and teaching and photography, and not in some new-agey, abstract sort of way. I thought about the fact that my best teaching and moments of connection with students and clients come from actual experience, and then usually when said experience involves trial and error. I can't skip the experience part and go straight to the product part.

And this:
If you're working entirely according to what other people expect instead of according to what you love to do, that's marketing, not creativity. 

That was important for me to hear. I get that I need to participate in the marketing part, but the balance is really important. For some, the marketing IS the part they love. For some of us, not so much.

And one more thing:
The first draft of anything is just work that has to be gotten through. With the REVISIONS comes the fun, when you can make the beginning match the ending, add all the details you really want and do all the tweaking necessary to bring it all together. 

I like thinking of the real creativity beginning after the mere scaffolding of the first draft is put together. It releases me from my perfectionistic tendency to expect a fully-formed thing to come forth on the first try.

One other thing matters about this evening. It was framed on all sides by the influence of like-minded friends. One brought the program to my attention and inspired me to take the time to go. Another was willing to trade out a regular knitting lesson for driving a long way to pick me up and go all the way into the city. The time spent with them was as important as Kingsolver's words and constitutes the purest and best way of topping off my creative reserves.

So let's get pouring. And sawing. And all that...

1 comment:

  1. That would have been a lovely evening. She's such a thoughtful person.


Thank you for sharing your insights!