creativity starts with engaging with the world on our own terms, noticing what others miss, and attending to what matters most to you*
In the labyrinth of the city, the flâneur makes his own destiny. Walking freely without a specific aim is an affirmation of his autonomy in action and in thought.**
Seth Godin points out that many of us are already wandering, but in unhelpful ways:
digital wandering is mostly a waste. It doesn’t free our imagination, it stifles it … The next time we consider wasting an afternoon clicking on whatever baits us, perhaps it might make sense going for a walk instead**.
Better to put the need to wander in service of something more fruitful. Imagine it as sowing seeds to which there’ll be an attending harvest.
Wander through a city, wander through buildings, wander through woods, wander through books, wander through writing and doodling: open to that thing we will know when it comes to us:
The attentive consciousness can be regarded as the very space of our personalities. We can just as well say that that thing dislodges a certain space in our personalities.^^
*From Rob Walker’s newsletter The Art of Noticing: Useless, and Valuable;
**From Federico Castigliano’s Flâneur (also, check out Lauren Elkin’s Flâneuse for a gender-balancing perspective);
^From Seth Godin’s blog; Aimless clicking;
José Ortega Y Gasset, quoted in Maria Popova’s The Marginalian (formerly, Brain Pickings): Whom We Love and Who We Are: José Ortega y Gasset on Love, Attention, and the Invisible Architecture of Our Being.