Sunday, May 14, 2006

Get Lost

On Friday I wanted to get into the centre of Edinburgh quickly so I walked from my work into Dalkeith and waited at a bus stop where I thought I would have a better and more frequent selection of busses. I hopped onto a 3a which said 'Princes St' on the front, sat down, chatted to the woman beside me and it sailed off in a direction I've never been in. It ambled between houses, swooped up and down beside green fields, schools, housing estates, it passed hamlets, Gorebridge, Newbattle, stables and museums (Lady Victoria Colliery) and zipped passed trees laiden with blossom, and small pink snowstorms of petals in the rising wind and came to a stop in the middle of 'no where' at a terminus. At which point I talked to the bus driver and got off the bus and waited for a 29 which he said would get me to where I wanted to be quicker. I dashed off the bus on South Bridge and made it to my new class with about 30 seconds to spare. At some point during the journey after getting more alarmed at being 'lost' I gave up and instead hoped that this was merely a diversion, a small loop in time which would in its own time take me back to were I was going. On the other hand if you think of it as exactly where I was supposed to be going (on a trip around the countryside I'd never been to before) then I was not lost at all and I was infact going exactly where I should be all along.

I was thinking about this again later after teaching. Being creative is often about being 'lost' without a map because you are creating the map itself. Becoming comfortable with being lost is an art. To stumble about thinking 'I've got no bloody idea where this creative bus is going but I'll stick around for the ride' is where the most interesting and productive creative discoveries are made. Creative journeys made with the creation of premade maps and guides which often follow other people's journey's are with out surprise, (the light on the distant hills as the weather got worse, the black cat sitting on the window sill). Getting lost both metaphorically and literally might just help gettting connected to the creative parts of oneself.

1 comment:

Loretta a/k/a Mrs. Pom said...

My biggest problem is that when I get "lost" creatively I begin to panic that I don't know what I'm doing, that I should know what I'm doing, and ergo that I am a total art fraud. Then I smack myself in the head and remember what Annie Lamott wrote: first drafts are all shit (and in this I include all "firsts" as I make art, too. I have gotten better at it lately in that I remind myself that I never know what I am doing initially and have to trust that the process will turn up something good.