I am never really done. I begin and edit and adapt all the elements of my life. My choices today lead to an opportunity or challenge that requires a different approach towards a undefined outcome. I scribble ideas that are pertinent in the moment and get stale or inappropriate in a longer view. The drafts allow evolution and revolution to occur. There is no once and for all Statement of Belief or final product. I ship ideas, opinions, content and creative with the understanding and willingness to reframe, rethink, and rework. This allows the shipment to encourage, provoke, challenge, anger, disturb or humour the recipients and hopefully generate engagement.
When it all is an unfinished piece of business I can be curious rather than defensive. You can be inquisitive rather than passive and it opens the door to an as yet unimagined conversation.
I was volunteering with Beakerhead (a Smashup of Arts, Science and Engineering) over the past few days as a curiousity rover. I was able to begin micro conversations with thousands of people and in minutes make a connection that influenced the next interaction. There was silliness, seriousness, satire, and scientific inquiry when I began with questions rather than statements. I learned about aliens, about people, about the hotel industry and some strong convictions about creation and certainty. In draft form, I was able to incorporate what resonated and consider what disrupted my confirmation bias.
It isn’t easy feeling like nothing is ever finished but for me it keeps me motivated and alive.
Make Today Remarkable, by creating a few draft conversations,
I was down at the marina in Oceanside last night, just after last light (amazing stars and clear sky) looking for a black crowned night heron. We found him on the fishing pier scanning the shoreline for a late night meal.
Most nights a resident group of sea lions can be found on the docks near the Oceanside Police Department, Last night there was a group of 25ish (hard to count when they are piled haphazardly). I at and watched the interactions that took place between individuals and groups as they shifted and jockeyed for position. Not unlike a workplace or other social group, there were troublemakers who seemed to find it difficult to stay still and/or quiet. Every few minutes they shifted or flipped and provoked a neighbour (sometimes it seemed intentional). There were barks, moans and feinted nips. The intruder was attempting to move up the pecking order and was mostly put in her place.
There were older sea lions with established positions who didn’t seem bothered by the commotion; they had nothing to prove today and ignored most of the action. If a peers became too aggressive or disruptive, one quick bark in their direction settled the argument.
The alpha male had his spot, somewhat separate from the group where he rested comfortably with the chosen female (of the day). She was protected from and excluded from the skirmishes. Being his favorite had privilege and I expect responsibilities. Last night all we witnessed was the leader getting his head rubbed and offering a comfortable, obliging subordinate.
I realize that the exercise was pure anthropomorphism but still enjoyable and enlightening. Does your workplace resemble a raft, a rookery, a harem? Are their alphas with betas who are secure in their position? Are the gammas and omegas trying to move up the ladder?
Make Today Interesting, by observing the interplay,
I was walking through an inner city community, heading home after spending some delicious time at the Central Library. It is a great place to find inspiration and observe people. At an intersection with construction on all four corners, I discovered an impromptu art installation and had to take a picture because I was inspired again.
The rest of my walk along the Bow River, I began imagining who might have created this piece. Did they know that their deliberate creation would spawn a spontaneous impression? Did they expect that the art and the message would capture someone’s imagination for almost an hour? Could they expect that a conversation would have been the result of leaning their creation against a boulevard?
Am I/are we being deliberate in our creation of our art? (art as defined by Seth Godin as Art isn’t only a painting. Art is anything that’s creative, passionate and personal.) When I create, I think about you, the reader/viewer/receiver and try to add my personal position apparent in a way that provokes, encourages, evokes a response. (comments are great)
Does it matter that the street artist may never know the impact of her creation? Will he continue without direct encouragement? Will I ever know if anything I am shipping makes a difference? Does it matter if I do/don’t?
Are you creating and shipping your art?