While watering, feeding and hanging out with our desert tortoises, I happened to catch one during one of his yard cruises. He was in grazing mode, looking for anything to eat. Of course he eats plenty of desert plants, but his instinct to investigate everything as a potential food source is strong. An ancestral behavior necessary for him to survive another season.
This made me think of the creative process and the instinct to explore or investigate everything around you for a creative morsel just to be able to survive another season. Like a writer in a busy cafe ingesting snippets of conversation for plot twists and characters, or a sculptor with the need to pick up and feel the smooth texture of river rocks or driftwood during a morning walk. Imagine a photographer or painter, what details each would capture for a feast on film or canvas. The tendency to “take it all in” could be argued as instinctual and a necessary behavior for the survival of creative productivity.
How many times have I stopped the car to investigate something intriguing on the edge of the road, or down a rocky desert wash? I get out and I’m in my own kind of grazing mode, hungry with curiosity (or instinct?), looking for a muse that might engage my senses: a tiny wildflower, the scent of distant rain in the air, warm to the touch boulders, sand shifting beneath my shoes, a hummingbird buzzing me, or the droplet of nectar from a chuparosa blossom on my tongue, like a poem.
This stream of thought is what my tortoise, Rufus, offered me along with this tasty morsel: be like the tortoise. Investigate, take in everything around you. You never know what yummy creative tidbit you might find.
That, along with inspiring me to share the moment with you via the video I captured of him doing exactly that, from his eye-level.
It’s 2 – 1/2 minutes, I’d love to know what thoughts Rufus offers you 🙂
YouTube link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2ktWA8_4MkU