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Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Letter to a friend, part 4

My dear friend,
Yes, I know, I do rabbit on a bit about parallel worlds and poetic universes. It is my vain attempt to get across the feeling of what it is like to be absorbed in the flow of creativity.
Have you ever lived in Africa?
Don't think so. If you have you would know that there is something of our African origins embedded deep down in our DNA which clicks alive when we are in a desert or jungle and which washes clean our senses, enlivens and electrifies our souls and dissolves rationality and mundane concerns.
I can think of no other way better to describe this than to quote Elspeth Huxley from her book 'The Mottled Lizard'. She writes...

'To depart on a safari is not only a physical act, it is also a gesture. You leave behind the worries, the strains, the irritations of life among people under pressure, and enter the world of creatures who are pressed into no moulds, but have only to be themselves, bonds loosen, anxiety fades, the mind closes against the world you left behind like a folding sea anemone. Enjoyment of the moment, the true delight in living, in life as it is and not as others in the past have made it, all this returns. Each breath you draw gives pleasure, you wake with a new sense of wonder at the pure light shining on golden grasses and the web on the thorn, and at the cooing of a dove. And the reason for praising the Lord all the days of your life, a reason certainly withheld from men in cities, comes to you: or, at least, you understand that this is not a matter of reason, which destroys all need for praise, but a buried instinct that you are one with all creation and that creation is positive, delightful and good. Only when the chains of civilisation were loosened, when you escaped for an instant from the mould, could you understand the meaning of spontaneous happiness. To live this life forever seemed the only desirable form of existence.'

I do hope that this in some way answers your question.
Now, I don't exactly expect you to rush out and but a safari hat and a ticket to Nairobi (although that seems like a good idea now I've written it)
It is enough to leave the world behind in a spiritual fashion and allow your studio to be your metaphorical desert and jungle and to be aware of its sounds and sensations which are the first murmurings of that creative wind which blows around us everywhere, were we but to know it.

                                        A jungly painting to inspire you

Michael at Starstone

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