Saturday, April 11, 2009

The Great Juggling Act

"The quality of the imagination is to flow, and not to freeze."

Ralph Waldo Emerson

In this case, the great juggling act (as we have many that we switch from throughout our day to day lives) is between being kinetic and static.

The above quote from Ralph Waldo Emerson is intriguing. I would bet that most of us think of ourselves, or at least our imaginations as being kinetic. We're always thinking, always reacting. How can our imagination not be in a constant kinetic state? However, I would contend that it isn't as kinetic as we'd like to think. There are many aspects of how we view the world and our lives as fixed thoughts. For example, that cup of coffee or tea you have every morning. Like it. Gotta have it. Your favorite pair of shoes. Like it. Gonna wear them today. Your favorite dish served at your favorite restaurant. Love it. Can't wait to have it again. So, here we have a short list to serve as an example of what I mean by static.

Why should you re-visit or re-think something that you've already got an opinion or thought on? According to Renaissance thought, it was considered that the first role of the imagination was to keep old thoughts fresh through reflection, interpretation, and re-presentation. Wow. Knosh on that one for a while.

If you have seen some of the drawing portfolios and executed works of some of the heavy weights in the art world, many have sketches or paintings of the same subject matter. Re-visited. Re-invented. Re-thought out. You see this a lot in the printmaking world of etchings. Part of it is an exercise and a way of working out the logistics of how the image can be conveyed.

In the book, "Original Self (living with paradox and originality)" by Thomas Moore, he goes on to say:

"In the intersection of movement and stasis, life becomes interesting and is worth living. Change ennobles tradition, and honoring the old gives grounding to vitality and movement. The waters of a mountain stream flow constantly and yet it is one stream, a static picture of endless flow."

And we, my friends, have the fortunate job each day of finding ways to balance this juggling between the kinetic mind and the static mind.

Treat yourself to more lovely shadow shots (from a very kinetic global group)and stop by Tracy's Shadow Shot Sunday.


Hey Harriet said...

I think I need to 'knosh' on your whole post for a while to take everything in :) Wonderful words as always and an awesome shadow shot!

whizkid said...

Fantastic shot! absolutely striking...and yes, you write quite well.

Happy Easter

Sylvia K said...

Gorgeous shadow shot! Lovely words! Happy Easter!

That is the chicken said...

Nice clear shadow shot...and much to think about in your words. I too struggle to balance the kinetic and the static mind. Right now, I'd like a little more of the static! The shadow shots are very calming for a kinetic mind I find.

Dianne said...

that is an amazing shadow
your words hit home at the moment

smith kaich jones said...

Oh, but you are so right! And I feel so vindicated - lol! Having spent the day preparing canvases & pieces of metal that will be much of a series, much of the same working out of an idea - each piece different, but each piece that same thought, that same approach, a bit altered. I feel much relieved and calmer.

Blessings to you this Easter night!
:) Debi

bridgette said...

great post paula, as always you give me something to think about.

i've been reworking some old paintings and wondering if i shouldn't paint over them...but at the same time there's no paint in them sitting in my closet collecting dust!


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