UNDERGROUNDSometimes the artist must do nothing


The Creative Underground has written me another note. This time it was in the obituary section of the Sunday paper…I wondered if anyone else saw the note, so as to further confirm their existence. I asked around. Everyone looked at me like I was crazy. I think I am. The note reads;

10-27-2019_08:33AM_CRTVE UNDRGRND_ (PORTSMOUTH DIV.) _ARCHIVE_013_NOTHING

DEAR MR. NICK,

Have you seen that episode of SpongeBob SquarePants where; SpongeBob & Patrick & Squidward get lost in the middle of the kelp forest? Like tribal peoples, they consult a magical conch shell. -goes like this- SpongeBob: “Ohhhhh Magic Conch Shell, what do we need to do to get out of the kelp forest?” Magic Conch Shell: “Nothing.” Patrick: “The shell has spoken!” Squidward: “NOTHING?! We can’t just sit here and do NOTHING!” …It may sound ridiculous Nick, but ‘The Magic Conch’ is right. Sometimes, for the sake of your art, you must practice doing…NOTHING.

Love,

The Creative Underground.

P.S. *shhhhh*

WAIT JUST A MINUTE. Everyone knows that the real battle of art is actually DOING the work! – Right? – Then I thought, maybe THEY have a point. Sometimes my doing is just anxious busyness. Doing can be compulsive, even addictive! Perhaps the most powerful antidote to overworking, is intentionally doing NOTHING.

Here are 3 reasons doing NOTHING may help your art;

Reason #1: Your artistic awareness grows. When doing NOTHING, you remember why you wanted to create in the first place. Only making, and never reflecting, is like cramming food down without tasting it. Chew slowly. Taste what you make.

Reason #2: Society is faster than ever. Our social media feeds scream; DO MORE. BUY MORE. LOUDER. FASTER. Do we only create art to achieve? -DONE. ON TO THE NEXT. NEXT. NEXT. – What about present-ness in the process? What about the flow? Periodically doing NOTHING is now the true counterculture.

Reason #3: Your life and art never came from you to begin with. SpongeBob and Patrick realize this. Therefore, they are free, sometimes, to do NOTHING. My grandma is 103. She doesn’t do much. When I ask her how she’s doing she says, “I’m Content,” and smiles.

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