When I create a piece of art I chose the medium, the substrate and the perspective I chose to view it with. Because I usually create intuitively, I don’t set out to create a specific subject. The subject emerges from the chaos I create by layering paint often while in a trance state. When I finally know the subject, I shape it with my skills, abilities, and perspective.
I’ve found recently, that I CAN search for something specific within my artistic chaos and draw it out. This doesn’t surprise me. When I completed my Master’s degree, not in Art, I learned very quickly that we find what we seek, we see what we are looking for, we hear what we want to hear. etc… And you know what’s true, it’s far less difficult for me to look for something specific than it is to clear my mind and play with the paint while allowing the subject to emerge on it’s own. To wait for that treasured gift of truth that needs expression in that moment of time requires my patience and my curiosity.
I think passing judgement rather than choosing curiosity is lazy. lt’s lazy like electricity, which always chooses the path of least resistance. Lazy is human nature I’m told, and the KISS principle sums it up succinctly. “If you don’t keep it simple, you must be stupid.” Lazy thinking, a disregard for wonder, I really think that path is how we dig ourselves into safe holes with walls of fear.
It’s curiosity, a path of heaps of resistance, that moves us forward and brings us closer. Curiosity resides at the base of knowing one’s self. Without knowing the self, can you ever really know another? Can you ever create something new and fresh without a great openness of the heart? Can you muster passion for a great quest? Can you be a good partner or friend, or leader or lover without knowing yourself; without wonder? My answer is no. My experience is no.
Ask anyone who’s experienced a tumultuous existential meltdown and was strong enough to come out the other end butterflied. They will tell you the same thing. Curiosity creates the conditions for magic to happen.
So, what’s my point?
Really get to know your mind so that you can get out of it. Get to know those and whatever is around you. Reserve judgement. (That’s about you, not them) Ask questions. Listen to and learn from the answers. Pay attention. Choose to be interested. Ask more questions. Wonder. Be amazed. Ask even more questions. Change your mind. Quiet your mind. Enrich your perspective. Educate your perspective. Change your perspective. Try new things. Get curious about them. Open your heart. Find your passion.
In politics, in literature, in science, in architecture, in business, in kitchens, in life partners, in art… look for the philosophers who are patient and curious and passionate. Those people are the ones cultivating perspective.