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04 May 2009

THE ARTS: "Tuning in and dropping down the well"


Georgia O'Keefe's blanket flowers


"Art is not about thinking something up. It is about the opposite--getting something down....
We are more the conduit than the creator of what we express. Art is an act of tuning in and dropping down the well. It is as though all the stories, painting, music, performances in the world live just under the surface of our normal consciousness. Like an underground river, they flow through us as a stream of ideas that we can tap down into. As artists, we drop down the well into the stream...We are the instrument more than the author of our work...."
--Julia Cameron, "The Artist's Way"

Elizabeth Gilbert also expresses this idea in an intriguing, short lecture she gave for the Ted series. You can Google it, and we'll try to put up a link later. Liz speaks about how the notion of "genius" has changed, over the years. In the past, people said that somebody has a genius, as if the genius were outside the individual. Now, we tend to say somebody is a genius.

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