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02/23/09
The Origins of Creativity
Filed under: General
Posted by: Gina Uhlmann @ 10:44 am

We all have our own beliefs about where creativity comes from.
I have always felt that in my brightest moments, anything inspired had very little to do with me.
It has always felt that the more I can let go, the more able I am to allow “something else” to take hold.
Do I completely understand this? No.
Do I accept and trust this? Absolutely!

The above is just a preface to what I am posting below.
It is an excerpt from Elizabeth Gilbert’s musings and research on creativity.
I have to admit that I haven’t read her book, Eat, Pray, Love,
but I highly recommend watching the entire 20 minute video.
The link is posted at the bottom.

Elizabeth Gilbert talks about a meeting with the US poet Ruth Stone.

“I had this experience recently where I met the extraordinary
American poet Ruth Stone who is now in her 90s, but she’s been a poet her entire life. 

She told me that when she was growing up in rural Virginia, she would be out working in the field, and she would feel and hear a poem coming at her from over the landscape. She said it was like a thunderous train of air, and it would come barreling down at her over the landscape.  When she felt it coming, because it would shake the earth under her feet, she knew that she had only one thing to do at that point, in her words, was to run like hell.  She would run like hell to the house, and she’d be getting chased by this poem, and the whole deal was that she had to get to a piece of paper and pencil fast enough so that when it thundered through her, she could collect it and grab it on the page. 

Other times she wouldn’t be fast enough. So she’d be running and running and running, and she wouldn’t get to the house, and the poem would  barrel through her, and she said that she would miss it, and the poem would continue across the landscape looking, as she put it, for another poet.

Then there were the times where, this is the piece that I never forgot, there were moments where she would almost miss it, and she’s running into the house and she’s looking for the paper, and the poem passes through her, and she grabs a pencil just as it’s going through her.  Then she said she would reach out with her other hand and she would catch it, She would catch the poem by it’s tail and she would pull it backwards into her body as she was transcribing on the page, and in these instances the poem would come up on the page perfect and intact to the word, but backwards from the last word to the first”.

http://www.ted.com/talks/elizabeth_gilbert_on_genius.html

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