But what if wandering is the real work. In nourishing our bodies, giving space to our minds and hearts to breathe, caring for the soul, and letting the subconscious mind tackle problems, we are doing much more for ourselves and the world.*
The mind articulates newly where roads parallel and roads contrary suddenly converge. The world is suffused with time and space, and therefore fresh speech is always appearing, always being invented. The world us teeming, so mind is teeming, so speech is teeming. There is no end to contingency, and so no end to language.**
Erich Fromm writes about how the “routinisation of life” has removed the union necessary between our inner and outer worlds leaving us lazy and ill-disciplined outside our work-jobs:
This very wish for laziness is largely a reaction to the routinisation of life. […] A […] way of attaining union lies in creative activity, be it that of the artist or of the artisan. In any kind of creative work the creative person unites himself with his material, which represents the world outside himself.^
Austin Kleon shares how he daily walks for three miles with his wife and children – in their buggy – because they need to reconnect with their outside worlds”
Art requires the full use of our senses. Its job is to awaken us to our senses.^^
We inhabit such small worlds with their tiny screens when we cannot walk around, look around, read around, talk around. And often we’re the ones stopping us.
All of that changes when we begin wandering, encountering contingency and convergence.
As always for me, art and artisanship means the by-product of a life completely inhabiting its senses:
First of all: when you start out on a career in the arts you have no idea what you are going to do. THIS IS GREAT. People who know what they are doing know the rules, and know what is possible and impossible. YOU DO NOT. AND YOU SHOULD NOT. […] The rules of what is possible and impossible in the arts were made by people who had not tested the bounds of the possible by gong beyond them. AND YOU CAN.*^
(*From Keri Smith’s The Wander Society.)
(**From Lewis Hyde’s Trickster Makes This World.)
(^From Erich Fromm’s The Art of Loving.)
(^^From Austin Kleon’s Keep Going.)
(*^From Neil Gaiman’s Art Matters.)