“Now is no time to think of what you do not have. Think of what you can do with that there is.” ― Ernest Hemingway, The Old Man and the Sea.
The canvas is never blank. The blankness exists as a representation of an expression of creativity still to emerge. The identification of any type of material as “blank” is enough to trigger ideas: a line, a ridge, a face, a feeling, a Nordic forest at night, a former family home, a playground scuffle during the break, the smell of freshly made bread, the strength of the waves coming towards me…
You still haven’t picked up the brush and the white is already disappearing under the foam of the sea. We subject it to the most human of intentions: creation. Perpetuating concepts, ideas, stories… We perpetuate our very own selves. The canvas becomes white the further away we are from it, far from achieving anything: good or bad, who shall judge? Does the 21st century value more “achieving” or “why did you achieve it”?
The blank becomes crowded with our intentions long before the work gets completed: this is all interwoven with unclear purposes and vague words. Individual creativity is subject to the experience of the human being conveying it. Each one of us, in a Sims-like fashion, walking around with the crystal of creativity above our heads. Some shine green or blue, out of the desire to explore nature and live with/for it. Others glow red or purple, full of passion and the desire to share in the most different forms. Everyone has their crystal, approaching the “blank” in a pre-defined tone.
This is the mark of a creator, which may very easily shock or delude: but not to those witnessing. Whoever creates lives in fear or disillusion with their own brands, the truth that spills out through the sentences, the brush strokes, frames, steps, and notes that nobody wishes to expose. The white gets sullied by our intentions long before the work ever gets completed.
It’s always easier to start with an intention even when this is initially triggered by fear or illusion. Surviving the waves requires both time and dedication. However, should we rise above the foam of the sea, we will see the lines drawn in the sand. Ridges that we never before imagined, shells in strange shapes, fragments, and particles of who knows what, even garbage.
We may interpret them as coordinates and create based on them… Or we may ignore them. The sea is always going to be there. With time, we can see from an ever greater distance. We learn how to make nets and await to choose from what we catch on the tides: good or bad, who shall judge? In the midst of all these references and metaphors, we confuse myth and reality: deliberately or otherwise.
We dedicate our lives to building micro-mythologies that evaporate at the click of a button. Reality, even while increasingly exposed to the whims of the “buttons”, continues to remain the only truly real place. If ideas do not turn into actions, do they exist? If you don’t pick up the brush, is the canvas still blank?