I am not an idle person. Or patient. I love efficiency. Practicality. 10 year plans. I long for goals and lists and checkmarks.

And yet.

Creativity comes in those moments where the brain has a chance to wander. To wonder. To drift.

Maybe it wonders to un-creative, daily things: the grocery list or if the dog's been fed yet. But in those in-between moments, when I abstain from forcing efficiency; when I stop writing the list and start doodling in the margins. Creativity. Inspiration.

Barbara Ueland refers to this as “moodling”. She called it being creatively idle. Sitting in front of the tyepwriter (for writers; the canvas for painters, the yarn for knitters) every day, giving space and time for the something that is uniquely you to pour forth onto the page.

I've heard it a thousand ways: Allowing the muse to speak. Waiting on God. It appears in many of my beliefs, in the literature and theology I love to study, this idea of waiting. Waiting for the words to come, for the solution to present itself. Contentedly, mind you. Not in a rush, not forcing it, not listing pros and cons. Sitting ready. Waiting.

And yet.

And yet I make lists: things to write about, things to knit, things to sew. I sketch sweater designs, embroidery designs, grocery lists. Wondering why I don't feel impassioned to do any of the things on my list. I'm not stopping to wait.

But that's what I want: to idle. To create space and room for not just creativity, but for the passion to actually do.

0 comment on Creative Idle

  1. Ruth
    November 19, 2007 at 3:01 pm (12 years ago)

    It’s called “Retirement”. I call it “refreshment”. It’s the first time in my life that I have the time to fully express myself. And I also am doing it in the fiber world.

    Dyeing yarn is like painting a canvas.