This morning, after attending a Creative Morning at Galapagos, I was wandering my way through the construction filled streets of Dumbo and came upon these large concrete structures with holes in the top that I’m sure were going to go into the ground of the torn up streets somewhere nearby. I had been resistant this morning to getting out of bed and going to the lecture, even though I knew that I would love it once I did. Even though brisk out, the weather was so sunny I had no excuse. And I was rewarded with a wonderful lecture that for me brought home the point of conceptualizing what it is that you want to achieve and then just going for it and following it through to completion even if you hate it three months into it (and apparently Andrew Zuckerman does hate all of his projects three months in, but that’s part of the process, and that moving past it he loves them!). I love this philosophy and think it says a lot about how to achieve something: that waiting around for inspiration, like waiting around for a relationship where you’re “in love” all the time, doesn’t get you very far, for the world is flawed, as we all are, and perhaps just to exist flaws are necessary (I just wondered: is there any way to mathematically represent/conceptualize this perhaps, like that in order to exist in the physical world, things have to have an irrational number to them or something?).
But I digress. I was lost in thought about my own creative process, having started NaNoWriMo and thinking about what I could conceptualize with my photography, and then stumbled upon these giant concrete enclosures with holes in the top. On first read, they reminded me of the artist Rachel Whiteread’s work. But then looking inside and seeing the rungs of a ladder going up to the top opening took me back to one of my first playgrounds.
I was lucky enough to go to a school with a playground that inspired imagination. There were large tire swings, and the usual jungle gym, of course. But there was also my favourite portion of the playground: the tunnels! The tunnels were just what I was looking at this morning, except smaller, and child size. There was a big hill, and in the hill were a series of tunnels. Some went lengthwise, but you could take detours and climb upwards to get to the top of the hill. It was marvelously imaginative and you had a different sense of space when in the tunnels, trying to figure out which way to come up and where you would be once you stumbled up into the light. And it felt a little risky too. The tunnels upwards weren’t that tall, but tall enough that you wouldn’t want to fall. And they were narrow so that an adult really couldn’t squeeze through. Who knows if the playground of my childhood still exists, but I’ve visited it many times in my dreams, perhaps as a way of creative rumination.
I love this metaphor, of crawling around in the dark and not knowing where you’re going and then finding a tunnel going upwards, a way out, and climbing the steel rungs of a ladder into the bright sunshine. Life feels like that often, particularly now. Sometimes towards the end of Retrograde I almost feel like there’s a “countdown” so to speak! In fact, there are only 7 more days til Venus and Jupiter go direct! Will we all find out way out of the tunnels then, into the bright? I hope so!