“Keeping a sketchbook-journal can give us a resource of possibilities. No matter how much or how little time we have for their development, writing down notes or ideas or images that come to us is crucial. So is writing them down the moment they come to us. This is crucial for two reasons. First, if we delay, those ideas will disappear like our dreams in the morning. Two hours later, what seemed so clear and obvious is gone for good. Second, these ideas are our lifeline to our voice. When we give them attention, they grow stronger. By honoring what pops up, we say to ourselves that such things matter. If they don’t matter enough to us to get them down in some form , even some kind of shorthand, no one else will ever be able to know if they matter to them . As Emerson wrote, “To believe your own thoughts, to believe that what is true for you in your private heart is true for all men – that is Genius.”
That’s what calls us to write or draw or paint. Your call is unique. No life is like yours.. No one responds to life the way you do. Giving precise expression to that personal press of spirit in the stuff around you – that is “genius”. The word comes from the Latin meaning “in the spirit of a place. We give voice to how our spirit blossoms in the face of something that moves us.
Emerson mentions the “gleam of light” that flashes across our mind from within. It is a seed idea that needs noursihing and developing. The more we pay attention to these gleams, the more we find connection – a divine connection to the creativity of nature, to the nature of creativity, to the creativity of ourselves.
The screen that these ideas fall on is yours, is different from all others. Genius is recognizing its quiet and personal importance and trusting it.. And doing something with it.. Because when we start, and start boldly , as Goethe says, “there’s genius in it.” Things start to happen. there is an exspression, “with practice comes luck.” Or, as Louis Pasteur said,”chance favors the prepared mind.”
There is no alternative to showing up.”