A wonderful man, David Lynch, wrote a wonderful book, Catching the Big Fish, in which he discusses the correlations between meditation and creativity, as well as reviewing some of his life’s experiences and artwork. Elements of his movies are interwoven into the book. In particular, he outlines how an experience of his meditations can transcend as being in a room with many thick curtains. Any Lynch follower will know that curtains are a major symbolic element throughout his works: Twin Peaks, Blue Velvet, Mullholland Drive, etc.
He also posits that meditation, and beingness, encircle a pool of creativity. The artist is faced with this pool and is left to care for the waters. The idea is that pools come in many sizes, many depths, and fish (the symbolic representation of an idea) will swim in it or not. As meditators and artists, we must expand the borders of this pool, we must dive in to stir up with water and bring life to it, we must make it a healthy and nourishing place where we can incubate our energy and return to when we need to bring clarity to our ideas.
I have meditated for a long time, over 15 years. The process of meditating has taken on many forms for me: in silence or against loud music; laying down on my back, standing up whilst on a mountain, kneeling at a yoga block; while happy, while frustrated, while angry.
When we believe that there is a pool of creativity inside of us that we are free to dive into at our choice we must also accept that this pool may contain emotions, experiences, and images we do not want to swim against. While we all have our own interpretation of the best settings for a swim, creatures of nature and creatures of our subconscious inhabit the waters of all conditions infinitely. And many of those creatures sting.
I often have little control over where I go during a meditation. It is much like getting on the serenity bus only to find out you’ve erroneously taken the express route crosstown. Suddenly, you’re witnessing all these different neighborhoods in your mind. The heights, the ghetto, the restaurant district where you see how much you starve, and more often than not, you disembark at the park or a fountain or a swimming pool where you can reflect or wade…and then you come to.
I do not seek to be known as an emotional artist. I have no desire to be a gestural or abstract expressionist. But as much as it is, in my opinion, truly impossible for any artist to admit that they do not seek recognition, or money, or adulation from the viewers of their works, I think it is also impossible for any artist to remove all emotion or thought from their work as well. I’ve discussed this before and I think it is a common theme in my practice. Graph paper makes me emotional so I can argue that something as simple as perpendicular light blue lines were designed by someone having a that kind of moment.
Today, my pool was filled with pain. It was filled with memories of the past, of moments left in denial, of little flashes of horror from childhood and beyond. Of cruelty, of isolation, of stale water.
The largest pools have the most area for leaves of the flora above to float down into. Windy storms of dust mezzotint the bottom and clog up the filter. Spiders insanely zigzag their way around the rim and encase the fountain with silk macrame. Nature is process we all work for, with, or against and sometimes there is no glory in trying to block wind.