© 2009 Marica

046 – Fenced in

Fences send a potent message, especially metal ones like this one. Their purpose is to either try to keep us within a confined space or to prevent us leaving that space.

This evening I’ve felt fenced in. More specifically my creative juices aren’t flowing and I feel stuck and frustrated. There is some kind of barrier stopping my thoughts from forming into words. There is no inspiration even though the fence has holes in it to allow for ideas to float through.

Who erected this fence? Why is it such a strong barrier? It is only made up of individual pieces of wire that have been curved and linked together yet it is extremely effective in achieving its purpose.

Maybe there is a message here for me?

My fence is of my own making. It may be a fence that I needed to erect. I am tired. Work is demanding. Life is demanding. Keeping this project going is demanding. Establishing the ritual of taking a photo a day, then writing about it on that same day and publishing it, is demanding.There isn’t enough time to do all I want to do. Ideas come to me and I have to park them. When I want them they don’t emerge instantaneously. None of this happens without effort – and lots of it.

This evening when I looked at my photos I had taken today this one of the wire fence jumped out at me – it screamed at me actually – but I didn’t know what the message was. There is something there but … what is it?

Twyla Tharp calls this process scratching.

You know how you scratch away at a lottery ticket to see if you’ve won? That’s what I’m doing when I begin a piece. I’m digging through everything to find something. It’s like clawing at the side of a mountain to get a toehold, a grip, some sort of traction to keep moving upward and onward.

Scratching can look like borrowing or appropriating, but it’s an essential part of creativity. It’s primal, and private. It’s a way of saying to the gods, “Oh, don’t mind me, I’ll just wander around in these back hallways …” and then grabbing that piece of fire and running like hell. (p.95)

Tharp, T. (2006). The Creative Habit: Learn It and Use It For Life. New York: Simon and Schuster.

Okay, I’m off now to do some more scratching and fit in some sleep at some point as well.

29. Every day eat, drink, rest, work, exercise, play, love, create for your own good. And the good of others.
38. Every day be brave and give things a go. Use fear to trigger you into action.
40. Every day give things a chance to work out.