09 February 2010

“Be what you would seem to be--or, if you'd 
like it put more simply--never imagine yourself not to 
be otherwise than what it might appear to others that 
what you were or might have been was not otherwise 
than what you had been would have appeared to them 
to be otherwise.”
   - Lewis Carroll

I occasionally look at the visitor statistics for this website. I know that there are many people who reach my pages because they're trying to figure out what "Curiosita" means. It's not South Park Cartman-speak for "curiosity," even though the correct pronunciation sounds an awful lot like Cartman's demands for "authoritah." I've borrowed my tiitle from the Italian word curiosità, derived from the Latin word curiositas, which loosely translates into English as having the attribute of inquisitiveness, snoopiness, nosiness, or a condition of being intensely curious. Since this word is in current usage, a good many Italian addresses show up in my statistics. What surprises me, though, is how after finding my site many come back for another look, thus embodying the very attribute about which they sought information in the first place. There aren't many more details than the IP address, the referring page, the duration of the visit, and which website pages are accessed, so nobody has to worry about privacy while reading. You can remain completely anonymous and access all the postings any time you want. But only a few readers have ever commented on anything they've read here, and I wonder now what stops them? Comments and feedback are always welcome. If you agree with what I've written, let me know. If you disagree, well, try to be civil and offer a dissenting opinion.

I received a newsletter this week that's really made an impression on me. In it, there is a haunting question. I paraphrase slightly, but the writer asked, "How does my work environment, my creative space, support my aspirations?" That single question made me take a serious, hard look at my work environment. I came to the conclusion that it is much better suited at present to completely kill any creative impulse that might rise in me than to cultivate it. I went right to work at correcting the situation and the space. I've sifted through piles of paper that should have been filed or flung long ago, filled bags and boxes with things I never use so I can sell or give them away, cleared my desktop, put my toys and gizmos into their proper drawers and containers, and refilled the shelves with the books I'd stacked all around on every flat surface within reach.

It feels better already, as if the energy can again circulate unblocked by all the false starts, failed finishes, and muddled-up memories. I've been working at this about an hour each day for the past three, and the results are far greater than I would have dreamed possible. The place looks better, I feel better about it, and I can actually sit at a desk and write without worrying about the unfiled papers and unpaid bills as I'm working.

If you're feeling blocked, you might give trick this a go. The full newsletter, written by writer and master weaver Paula Chaffee Scardamalia, contains other valuable tools and resources for creative types, and is available for free if you sign up at the Divining the Muse website. Go there. Sign up.

You'll never be sorry you did.

Excuse me. My work space beckons, and I'm curious about what I might find at the bottom of the last few piles.


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