There is no past. There is no future. There’s only now.
Now has contents, of course, and these contents changing provides us with the concept of time, making it possible for us to remember the past and imagine the future. Everything is Now and because we experience Now as changing, we know we can engage in big projects because there’s enough time to do this. So we get creative and move forward, building on what has gone before:
“The creative act is no loner about building something out of nothin but rather building something out of cultural products that already exist.”*
Now exists in this form: the vertical is the gift of deep presence in any moment.
And Now exists in this form: the horizontal is the space in which we create.
Together, these create what might be called a field of Now: something we create with and for others.
The vertical makes it possible to deep mine time and we appreciate there’s enough for everyone. Humility, gratitude, and faithfulness are my personal tools for going deep.
I also need to go wide, opening up possibilities for others, as others have done for me:
‘Creative work is not a selfish act or a bid for attention on the part of the actor. It’s a gift to the world and every being in it. Don’t cheat us of your contribution. Give us what you’ve got.’**
When I’m into myself, being prideful, greedy and foolish, I skim the surface of Now. I have to have more of it and I don’t open up possibilities for others.
So the deep moment not only identifies what I can do, but connects me to the deepest knowing of what I want to do, what I must do.
Over time (over Now), we create our story or our personal myth of what it means to live as “Me.” Perhaps this is the ultimate Human creativity. We can each create better or worse stories, with anything we put our mind and hand to, remixing ‘them to form something original, surprising, interesting, and useful.^
(*A quote from Wired magazine in Warren Berger’s A More Beautiful Question.)
(**From Steven Pressfield’s The War of Art.)
(^From Warren Berger’s A More Beautiful Question. Berger is describing general creativity but his words seem to fit well here. Jonathan Gottschall reminds us in The Storytelling Animal, we forget a lot from our past and retain what we need to shape our stories.)