I spend a lot of time reading books, blogs, and engaging in things that shape my thinking. I generally find it invigorating and this helps my original thoughts to surface while at the same time filter what resonates. I look at this process like deep water seeping through granite and sand and coming out crystal clear. It’s a process.
As an author, I’m always trying to distill the purity of what I discover into relevant and hopefully engaging articles and material—worth passing on. I don’t want to waste anyone’s time, and I certainly don’t want to go through motions of futility.
This process (creative authorship) comes in waves—or in the case of this analogy, drips and drabbles. Sometimes I wait at the end of the granite wall for enough water to seep out to collect. Sometimes it’s a waterfall. I just have to be ready to capture what is coming through the process. What I’ve learned however is that the process goes on, regardless of whether I’m standing at the granite wall or not.
Recently, I was reminded that for the creative process to work best, for life to take on more meaning, you’ve got to walk away from the collection point and let the process do its thing without watching every drop as it makes its way through the granite.
While I was thinking about this, I received this picture from my son-in-law. He and his dog stopped doing chores on the farm long enough to play in the snow. It was a frigid day; snow was flying everywhere as my daughter pulled them behind a four wheeler at high speeds. There is a smile behind his frosty beard that belies any worldly cares.
Such ‘moments’ are an oasis of tranquility really. Not much else enters the mind while doing something like this. I had the same experience when I used to fly airplanes. The serenity of these moments put a perspective on life that is needed.
As I looked at this picture, a smile creased my face. This finished the thought I was trying to formulate. I thought “Instead of standing by the granite wall waiting for drops of relevance to appear, allow nature to do its thing; step away from the routines of life and do something mindless.” Yes, this is the thought I was trying to pull from my granite wall. Stepping away from routines and doing something mindless allows not only creativity to take its course, but also makes a space for enjoying life on new levels. Step away from the dripping rock; you’re not going to rush the process anyway. Find an oasis of tranquility and treat yourself to a life-work-balance that makes life worth living.