Imperfection

I haven’t written on Creative Renewal since April 2010.  This morning I got the inspiration to come back to this site and use it to track my own process with my current project HOPE (human, organizational and planetary evolution).

I realized that in order to maintain a commitment to HOPE, I need to make space for my own creative work and to respect my own process of creative renewal.  This brought to mind my love affair with ceramics that I have put on hold in order to do this new project.  My Hidden Queen Vase came to me with its beauty as well as its imperfection as a sculpture.  I choose to honor it here to remind myself that perfection is not the aim of my larger project.  And that beauty is also present even with imperfection.

The Japanese regarded very highly, imperfection, my ceramic teacher told us. They actually looked for the cracks, roughness or mistakes in a ceramic piece.  This is called Wabi-sabi and is based on an understanding of beauty as “imperfect, impermanent and incomplete”, also closely related to Buddhist teachings.  How different from the demands I put on myself and the stress that I sometimes feel around the HOPE project.

As I try to understand this stress, I realize it is part of the creative process and the creative renewal that I am actually birthing by taking on this project.  Like any artistic endeavor there are phases where “Flow” happens and you get lost in the process, know just what to do, forget the outcome and focus in the “now”, taking each step as it is presented to you.  This is when you are most connected – both to your deepest wisdom and to the piece you are working with. There seems to be no separation between the two aspects.  But there is another phases where you become separated from yourself and the piece.  Can’t stay in the “now” but start worrying about the results, the outcome, how it will be received, is it good enough.  This state creates stress and tension.  It is hard to know what to do next because the “inner guidance” seems to have disappeared.

Both aspects must be accepted and recognized.  I work with that acceptance and try to understand what can help me to connect again. The obvious answer is to re-connect!  But that is not always easy and needs a kind of clarity about what is pulling me away in the first place!  If I notice that I am getting caught in the fears about outcomes, I can slow down and recognize this.  I can also find out what keeps me close to myself.

This question led me to this blog!  That is why I am writing about my process here because I believe it will keep me close enough to myself to help me connect back into myself and the project as I go along.

But why not just write for myself.  I am actually doing that by writing in my journal daily and that has been a big help.  But it occurred to me that there might be something to learn for all of us interested in the HOPE project, so I am thinking of trying to transmit some aspects of my process here rather than on the HOPE site because I believe it would interrupt the main purpose of that site.

And I am rather amazed by this first post.  I hadn’t thought about Imperfection or Wabi-sabi when decided to write here.  I just started with the Hidden Queen and then realized that she was imperfect and then remembered what my teacher said and suddenly I was connected to this post and revealing stuff to myself as I wrote.

So a double sharing of my process! And now I call forth my courage and will post this first attempt at sharing my personal process with the world!