Time…..with the long days of summer now here it feels like we have more time. The sun is up and streaming through windows, waking us up earlier and earlier. The evenings are prolonged and we can find ourselves still in the last hours of daylight at nine thirty. In short, I love it. I feel like getting all of those projects that are on my long list done. I don’t have to squeeze them into the short hours of a winter day. I can be out in the garden at 8:30 p.m., still clipping and digging or going for a walk around the neighborhood and chatting with neighbors on their front porches. An interesting by product of these slow moments is that I feel more compelled to create. Slow time can be a very good thing for refilling our creative wells. A moment to think and not necessarily DO. Simply enjoying the moment without rushing.
I’ve found that rushing has never helped a design project. The luxury of having more time is something that isn’t lost on me. Sometimes I wish solutions came in a straight line. But this is rarely the case. Usually it is a circuitous and tangled line. That looks something like this.
This desire for a solution to come in a straight line is usually driven by a perceived lack of time, real or imagined. However all of those paths that we take on our circuitous route are useful. They can lead us to other opportunities and other moments of learning that we can use later. Let’s take this blog entry for example. I was first reading a book about the history of knot tying. I was thinking about how long it must take to perfect this art and how many mistakes you had to make to get to a perfectly constructed ocean plait knot. It is a slow process of learning. Trial and error. This then reminded me of a great book I have called 101 Things I Learned in Architecture School by Mathew Frederick. Looking through it I found on page 81 the quote I was looking for. “Engage the design process with patience. Don’t imitate popular portrayals of the creative process as depending on a singular, pell-mell rush of inspiration. Don’t try to solve a complex building in one sitting or one week. Accept uncertainty. Recognize as normal the feeling of lostness that attends to much of the process. Don’t seek to relieve your anxiety by marrying yourself prematurely to a design solution; design divorces are never pretty.” Words to live by. I then started to think about how to time oneself in such a manner that would simultaneously keep you on track and yet move at a pace that encouraged you to ponder. I thought about an hourglass and then started to look for images of one. On Google I found a reference to Marc Newson and his work with Ikepod which is a timepiece company. He has created a line of very high end hourglasses that are amazing.
After watching this I realized that I had a blog entry. I didn’t sit down and decide that I needed to write about time. I was wandering down a path, taking time out of a weekend day and had encountered a series of experiences that I realized were connected. I wasn’t married to any particular outcome.
Sometimes being creative means not knowing where you are going down the path but taking the TIME and wandering just the same. Looking for and finding the connections along the way.
Images courtesy of legitlifestyle.com, marc-newson.com, the jewelryeditor.com