Tuesday, November 10, 2009

When I listen to or watch the news too much, I seem to lose the ability to pay attention to the world around me. I can remember when news was much less subjective, more a presentation of something more like facts. It seems to me that now everything gets spun, and trying to find the truth behind the fabrication, behind the construct, gets more and more difficult.

To me, the root of creative practice is the ability to pay attention, to have pure and direct experience which fuels the creative process. If I can't have an experience that is unexpected, that surprises me in some level, I have no source material for my creative work. I suppose that I could use the stuff that gets in the way as source material, but it only feels weird and unnatural for me. Mostly that stuff - for example, "reality TV" - is just boring. It is not so much that it is mindless and of the lowest possible quality, not that it is unpleasant and stupid, as that it is dull.

Pre-digested "news" and "reality TV" and all manner of voyeurism set us at a remove from true experience. My use of the word "voyeurism" may shock the reader, but it is an accurate description of our celebrity-crazed culture. All of this is a poor substitute for authentic presence. Perhaps it is because we are overwhelmed by circumstance for whatever reason, but it seems to me a kind of escapism that is far from healthy. On some level, I think that a momentary impulse to escape, to be temporarily mindless, is perfectly wholesome.

"Be here now."

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