Creative Freedom is Eating Strawberries at Three in the Morning

Sedona in the moonlight is terrific. I live at the base of Thunder Mountain and all of it’s craggy magnificence is reflected in the lunar light. The whole town has a “no streetlight” policy, which is wildly controversial in some circles but superb for star-gazing.

If you want to be more creative, break out of your standard routine from time to time. Get up at 3am. Have some strawberries. It’s fun, especially when the crickets are chirping and the moon is full. Nothing says “I don’t have to be up at the crack of dawn” like eating fresh strawberries in the middle of the night. It’s like taking a little break from sleeping, if that’s possible.

Is Sedona an artistic paradise? Absolutely. But when you think about it, isn’t anywhere — especially where you are right now — a paradise when you are free to enjoy life’s little pleasures on your own terms?

Photo by Jeff Kubina, used under a Creative Commons license.

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2 Comments

  1. I sooo very much agree. I have recently found that taking advantage of insomnia, instead of simply fighting it, putting up with it, using is as meditation time (only such much meditation one can do in 24 hours, after all), has led to a massive explosion in my literary creativity! I have produced several pieces that have been well received. In this case, I go with the flow. When I awake, I just stay tuned into myself. What do I need to do right now, if anything? Do I feel moved to write, call, chat on the ‘net? Write a song, go out and look at the stars? Water my garden before sunrise in the morning? Make love not war? Go ahead and grumble or cry or allow waves of ecstacy to move through my body, mind, and soul?

    In many ways I have an artisitic advantage due to living with a disability. Earning my regular “paycheck” involves dealing with my downtime and moulding my True Life around my limitations. But for the most part, my schedule is my own. I have painted (watercolor) from 2-5 am, written poetry while driving to a medical appointment, snapped photos of the volunteer morning glories upon seeing their Glorious Display. It is wonderful to have the scheduling flexibility to spontaneously follow the creative impulse, most especially when I don’t know where it is going, and see where it leads me. Usually to some place wonderful. Often, recently, to some place new and unexpected and refreshing and engaging the depth of my being in ways I am unable to explain rationally. Of course, having a “guaranteed” regular paycheck doesn’t hurt either!

    In studying how creativity works, I found that many creative geniuses get their inspirations during “transition” periods, those times after substantial (relevant and related) focus when you are in the shower, driving, brushing your teeth, putting your shoes on for a hike, et cetera. It seems that when you load relevant input and stimulation into your brain, (combined with detailed technical knowledge in your specialty) your psyche processes it; and then when you set the rational mind aside and take a breather and are open and receptive, bam! Inspiration has arrived. Eureka! This is the magic spark that, for me, often brings life to my creations—going with the flow in the inspirational moment. From the conceptual stage (where it may be simply an internal kinesthetic sense of composition, feel, flow, pattern, color, emotional evocation) through the creative process, to the technicalities of finishing, pricing, marketing, and display, I have found my best successes come when I allow myself to “feel” my way through each of these processes.

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  2. Welcome, Misha. You are quite the prolific commenter; thanks for taking the time.

    I think the key thought here is “on your own terms.” When you are free to play with ideas, follow your muse, create art and express yourself — even if only for brief periods of time — you gain a powerful, balanced sense of self, which works wonders for centering and energizing your spirit.

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