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Pauses - Part II

Photo credit: Paige French

Photo credit: Paige French

Pauses - Part II

Pauses are threaded about each day. Some pauses are critical to our survival, such as sleep. Other pauses, like taking a few deep breaths before an interview, serve to bring a sense of calm to critical moments. In terms of creativity, pauses, such as time away from one’s studio, act as catalysts for new possibilities: “rebeginnings.”

Kyna Leski, in her book The Storm of Creativity discusses “rebeginnings.” She states: "…there are new beginnings that come from approaching it [a project] with a fresh strategy.” Leski goes on to say "But what precedes a beginning is a pause, a time away, a distraction, completion, destruction, or death. Something has broken the attachment, the focus, purpose, and activity...Out of the pause...is a beginning again."

She further describes the cycles of creative practice and the fruitful role of pauses: "Distractions, which seem counterproductive to the creative process, have a role, breaking the silence and stirring the unconscious mind in a new direction.” This lack of expectation resulting from the closure of one moment in time that then opens a door to the next can be generative: “out of this calm you start (again) before you realize that you have—with something appearing quietly, unannounced.”

This is something she further illustrates through the example of a French mathematician, Henri Poincare (1854-1912), as "how ideas can spring to mind after a break from intense work." Leski quotes Poincar’s description of how pauses contribute to his mathematical pursuits at length. He describes coming to moments of clarity by stepping away and turning his attention to another activity entirely. Reading this affirms my suspicion of the positive role pauses play in my own life and creative pursuits.

In this season of pause from the studio, I am actively giving attention and care to other aspects of life including teaching, health, travel, and connecting to other humans. I can see ahead entering a new season in the studio, and until then, all the things being gathered and internalized will begin stirring leading to the next body of work. This instills in me a sense of great anticipation and excitement for what the fresh start will bring; renewed and reenergized works that I have yet to see.

Erin McIntoshComment