Cultivate the catalysts & trust in our gifts.
When I try to control a piece, it never comes out well. Maybe I’m forcing this post, but it’s just not coming together. So it’s more of a piece in progress, something I’ll let marinate as the patchwork you see here now. And something I’ll maybe come back to in the future.
As Frost said, “no surprise for the writer, no surprise for the reader.” Maybe the surprise just isn’t ready yet?
Are we ever in control? Just us as ourselves, no external forces at play, controlling our every move, every thought? And when it comes to our natural gifts and talents, who or what initially identifies that talent? And how do we come to believe in it?
I would argue the only way to control our gifts and creativity is to give control over to them.
If we let our gifts guide us as we explore this world, if we can wield them as we express ourselves, if we can learn to trust the path they create and do so openly without self consciousness, our gifts will guide us to a place of freedom.
So then the fulcrum of control is freedom: our belief in our gifts on one side, the sensations of the world on the other.
But before we can decide where we want to fall on this spectrum of control, we must first identify our natural gifts. So how do we do this? We must let curiosity lead us and work to open the aperture and let more light in. We must make space for what is illuminated, for whatever energy comes our way, we must get our hands on the world and play with what appears, we must work hard to unearth the smallest of sensations and spend time pulling them apart to learn more about why we feel and experience them as we do.
As curiosity gains inertia, the inspiration follows.
So next, we must create and contribute to this world and do so without self consciousness. We must embrace our natural talents and identify what makes us unique, we must to embrace our creativity and our voice, and we must tell our story.
Now the question of agency comes into play. The world we engage with is the catalyst: the people we talk to, the books we read, the shows we watch, the coffee we drink, the alcohol the drugs, our digital feed, all of it interacts and generates a running narrative, all of it lays our path before us. But the question of control is rooted in the balance of these elements that make up our path.
Our agency is determined by the elements we choose to bring into our world and our ability to balance the perspectives we consume. Too much of one voice or one genre, too much caffeine or alcohol, too much of the digital sprawl and we risk losing control; we risk becoming a commodity and creating for some thing other than ourselves.
If we can return to the path and surround ourselves in the complex web of sensations in this world, if we can work hard to stay balanced, we may not always be in control but we will at least know when we aren't in control and how far back we lost control.
To be clear, we must give up control, instead focus on surrounding ourselves with the elements we believe in and trust that our natural gifts and unique perspective will guide us. But we must also focus on cultivating the catalysts.