My first subway platform, NY 2012
For this quarterly article we were asked to write about how we maintain our creativity.
When I was in my late teens, I began a practice of occasional interruption that continues to be an important part of my creative process. I started taking time to wander when I needed it. I would get in my car and drive around (at that time, usually downtown St. Paul or Minneapolis), wandering into libraries, bookstores, art museums, coffee houses, even college campuses and airports. I always brought my sketchbook and would fill pages during those outings with lists, poems, rants, idea webs, sketches, and other random fragments from the day.
There is something about wandering. It’s transcendent. It allows for discovery, chance, connectivity, and immersion. It’s more than simply a change of scenery or a break from the mundane, it’s an opportunity to be truly receptive to unanswered questions. In “A Field Guide to Getting Lost,” Rebecca Solnit wrote, “To lose yourself: a voluptuous surrender, lost in your arms, lost to the world, utterly immersed in what is present so that its surroundings fade away. In Benjamin’s terms, to be lost is to be fully present, and to be fully present is to be capable of being in uncertainty and mystery.”
I wander in texts, dialogues, terrains, and with others. What started as an isolated practice has grown into the fruition of curiosities, discourses, and collaborations; all of which inform my work and renew my curiosities for the unknown.
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