Issue 32, Ways to turn towards the world
Creativity feeding abundance and how tuning in to your own unique source can inspire many others
“We see things not as they are, but as we are. Because it is the 'I' behind the 'eye' that does the seeing.”
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As I was trying to find a poem for this issue, I made a journey through online corridors of the Tate Museums’ archive. On an instinct I thought I would find a clue to the next poem amidst the art. Often, when I research these issues, moments of synchronicities lead me to just the right poem - I just have to have the space and faith to follow the thread. Sure enough I landed on George Frederic Watts’ 1886 piece titled Hope, a painting known to have had a huge influence at its time.
I pulled on the thread, which lead me to Pablo Picasso’s The Old Guitarist – presumably inspired by Hope – which went on to inspire the Wallace Stevens poem The Man with a Blue Guitar (excerpt below) which in turn inspired a series of etchings by David Hockney.
I am increasingly interested in why and how people create art and poetry and how they often feed each other – i.e. how the act of creativity can inspire more of it. The artist Agnes Martin famously said she made art with her back to the world; however, as much as she may have used art to escape from her difficult life, the reality is that her work is still exhibited in museums around the world, inspiring generations of artists and creators.
So, I prefer to look at art, poetry and creativity all as ways to turn towards the world, our viewpoints both revealing and changing the reality we see before us – something that Wallace Stevens captures perfectly in the excerpt below.
The Man With A Blue Guitar (Excerpt)
by Wallace Stevens
The man bent over his guitar,
A shearsman of sorts. The day was green.
They said, 'You have a blue guitar,
You do not play things as they are.'
The man replied, 'Things as they are
Are changed upon the blue guitar.'
And they said then, 'But play, you must,
A tune beyond us, yet ourselves,
A tune upon the blue guitar
Of things exactly as they are.'
Some inspiration this week
In my search for the perfect poem, this 503 error page on The Poetry Foundation’s website made me chuckle.
In other news, I was recently selected for Substack’s accelerator program for up and coming writers call Substack Go. The kick-off session was scheduled right in the middle of the most manic work week I have had in a long while - I almost didn’t show up. While the group of writers is too big to get any real connection, I did end up being placed in a group aptly titled ‘Russian Doll’, with some inspiring writers holding each other accountable, sharing their journeys and tricks. Finding a group of strangers on the internet who you can talk creativity with is a special kind of privilege. So to pass on the inspiration here are the links to my group mates. Give them a read!
Last, but not least – I recently came across Bookshop.org, a UK based online bookshop and B-Corp with the mission to support local and independent bookshops -I highly recommend intercepting your next Amazon book purchase and redirecting that funding from Bezos' pockets to indie bookstores. Do have a look and shop from my curated recommendations here.