Re-Creating the Creative Mind

Bonnie @ Intellectuelle posted some thoughts and posed a question based upon “In search of great golden phrases” by Susan Wise Bauer and the two posts wonder about ways that people, especially creative people, recharge their batteries of inspiration. I thought it segued nicely with the topic started here -so I thought I would fling a post at it.

Bonnie asks it this way,

“Tell me…how do you find your golden phrases? Your visions? “

Bauer looks to these respites:

  • Reading (almost anything)
  • Music (particularly classical, folk, sometimes soundtracks)
  • Drinking tea (I adore coffee, but it oils the gears of the money-making machine; it doesn’t do much for my imagination)
  • Complete quiet and solitude
  • Coffeeshops where I don’t know anyone
  • A restaurant meal alone
  • Walking or running by myself

Bonnie counts these among hers,

  • having a long period of solitude,
  • or being transported to a different experience — taken out of myself, if you will, with a camera in front of my eye,
  • or a great book,
  • or a great movie,
  • or travel,
  • or a great conversation with someone.

For me, ah… I must set the stage. I have to be able to wipe away the press of guilt and obligation, do my duty, if you will, to get to the things that recharge me. That is if I really want the full effect; if I realize that this is a Promethean task, I just drop out and put what time I can into the recharging process.

For me an introspective venue is best… no restaurants or coffee houses,

  • one of my favorites is a drizzly gray day with me, my hot tea or coffee, and nothing to disturb my time with a book or the Bible and long lapses of reverie and meditation from something I’m reading.
  • A perfect sunny day will sometimes lure me to sit on a chaise and quietly soak up the warmth and wonder at the greenness of grass or the blueness of sky.
  • Some of my best thinking has been while lackadaisically pulling up weeds along the edges of my garden (but anything strenuous and breaking a sweat is anathema to thought! at least not the good kind)
  • soaking in hot water 🙂
  • Just sit quietly and think, nothing else, just let the mind work, it is in solitude that this works best
  • a perfect scenario for me is a retreat to a wooded and somewhat rustic camp, especially with like-minded women, where some silence is encouraged along with time of sharing in turn- I haven’t experienced that for years- but it was an ideal recreation of body, soul and spirit
  • a good shampoo and hair styling
  • painting would do it if I ever took the time for it
  • I like listening to praise music- more than any other kind for rebuilding inside)
  • walking in the woods, but especially a cathedral-like pine forest
  • time by the ocean or a great lake

I have to say I hate the so-called retreats that are nothing but big city hotels and conference rooms. A conference can stimulate me, but I am exhausted afterwards.

I do like the type of recreation that stimulates and edifies, though… the spark of great conversation that Bonnie mentions- it is a real creative asset. Really fine performances- dance I love, but music, or visiting an art exhibition that speaks to me… these are rejuvenating. Certain worship experiences – they are various in type, will stoke the engine for quite awhile.