In One Hundred & Twenty Seconds.
Just how much or little can you really say in one hundred and twenty seconds? Erich Fromm supposes that creativity requires the courage to let go of certainties. And on reflection I guess I would probably say that I subscribe to that view. Probably. Although, like with most things in life, I seem to have more questions than definite answers to bring to the table.
What is certain about creating something new? And what can require more courage for us as human beings than the possibility that we may not have full control over something we believe in? Over something we have put time and effort in to? Over something that holds inherent meaning for us? For so many of us the ability to be certain about something, from start to finish, as much as possible, brings about great security and peace. For those daring enough to create they must be willing to step outside of those safe walls of certainty and into the possibility that control could be gone and anything could happen. Probably.
Early in September I was in the fortunate position to be able to spend an evening with a friend of mine, who also happens to be one of my favourite filmmakers just now. We spent several hours talking about life and, of course, creativity. I imagine there are few others who get to spend time with those they hold in such high regard. I am a lucky man in that respect.
Out of this conversation David and I decided to spend one Friday afternoon in Belfast exploring creativity a little together. I guess you could call our time working an experiment of sorts. With very little idea of what exactly it was that we wanted to film or indeed communicate we enacted our version of ‘free writing’ in video form. Free writing is a technique in which a person writes continuously for a set period of time without regard to spelling, grammar or punctuation. Some writers will use the technique to collect initial thoughts and ideas on a topic, often as a preliminary to formal writing.
Having only just over 3 hours of time to make our way to location, devise content and film video; David and I were required to let go of all certainties – even the certainty that any of the film we were making was going to be usable.
What I found surprised me. What I felt was a sense of relief, or peace that stemmed from the knowledge that I couldn’t grasp control over this ‘project’ - if you can even call it that. The time we had handed to our experiment and the careless nature of our preparation had left us with limited capacity for control, and in that place we had given freedom for creativity to exist. The end goal never felt as though it was the driving force in our creating. It had been sidelined to some sub-conscious space while we focused our energy on drawing out simply the next line, or beautiful piece of videography.
The liberation found in relinquishing our often firm grasp on control was the foundation for this work. And in it laid a challenge. Could I continue to work this way or is it even appropriate to when the opportunity for control exists? In what ways must we insist on controlling aspects of creative work and when is it OK for us to stand back from control and allow freedom for creativity to reign supreme? I don’t pretend to have those answers figured out yet, and I’m not sure I ever will but I do hope you enjoy our work anyhow.
'The society based on production is only productive, not creative.' - Albert Camus
My everyday is consumed by endless acts of God, encounters with people and limitless potential.
Handfuls of people around me are starting to see the importance of seeking life in all of its fullness, displaying that in a way that changes and affects the hearts and lives of those around them.
As we become increasingly hungry for this, God opens our eyes to the more.
Fullness can feel almost impossible at times. And yet somehow this generation is beginning to grasp the importance of pursuing fullness anyway… hungry to see heaven come to earth and seek the more, be more, and help people become more.
Although the majority of society choose to stay broken, damaged, unchanged and afraid to even think beyond what they know life to be, afraid to step blindly into fullness, into the more.
Fear magnifies our weaknesses and it hides our potential. When we allow fear to become the platform upon which we build our lives, we tend to focus on thoughts that aren’t true rather than focusing on the truth that can propel us into fullness, into the more.
As a generation our everyday can be consumed by endless acts of God, encounters with people and limitless potential if we allow ourselves to seek fullness, to embrace the more.
By Sarah Johnston
Generation to Generation.
In a house which becomes a home,
one hands down and another takes up
the heritage of mind and heart,
laughter and tears, musings and deeds.
Love, like a carefully loaded ship,
crosses the gulf between the generations.
Therefore, we do not neglect the ceremonies
of our passage: when we wed, when we die,
and when we are blessed with a child;
When we depart and when we return;
When we plant and when we harvest.
Let us bring up our children. It is not
the place of some official to hand to them
If others impart to our children our knowledge
and ideals, they will lose all of us that is
wordless and full of wonder.
Let us build memories in our children,
lest they drag out joyless lives,
lest they allow treasures to be lost because
they have not been given the keys.
We live, not by things, but by the meanings
of things. It is needful to transmit the passwords
from generation to generation.