Thursday, October 27, 2011

Thursday Thoughts...

The imagination should be allowed a certain amount of time to browse around.
Thomas Merton

Life gets very full and very busy and at times seems to be more about getting from place to place, doing all the things on the to-do-list, remembering to be here and to do that.

When my brain gets full of left-brain things, focused on checklists and sequences and arrivals and departures and sorting things out I find it gets over active and doesn't have the down-time it needs to just float freely, to wander from random thought to random thought, from inspiration to idea, to concept to design, to excitement and to wonder. That sense of purposeless browsing from which wonderful art can emerge.

Thomas Merton lived a life committed to peace, social justice and quiet pacifism and I have often enjoyed his writings.  This simple statement can conjure up for me the whimsical image of an imagination popping into a shop somewhere and letting the assistant know it's "just browsing thank-you"!

On the other hand, it gives rein to the need for an imagination to not be active 24/7 as the parlance goes, for an imagination to not necessarily be focused or directed. Rather, for an imagination to come into play and do what it does best, it just needs to go a'wandering sometimes.

We are busy at the moment and fighting off colds and lurgies and bibs and bobs that all take residence when one is run-down and on the move a lot. I just need to be reminded in amongst the busy-ness and sense of frantic activity at times, to just stop and let my imagination go for a browse around...who knows what wonders it might discover in this mode.

This artwork Competitive Ground by Peter Hill, can be found at Understory in Northcliffe, Western Australia. I wonder what my imagination might find if it climbed one of these ladders and had a browse around...


  1. We all know that we need this browsing/moodling time and yet we need to be reminded regularly. The quote, your thoughts and the whimsically wonderfull sculpture came at the right time for me. Thanks Fiona.

  2. thank you for this - it is so true... one begins the day thinking of all of the things that need to be accomplished, but there is no room for letting go... perhaps that should be assigned? as it is just as important as anything else (and perhaps even moreso)...
    hope you feel better soon -

  3. There are times when we can peacefully wander, and times when schedules take over. Rather more the former than latter but hey, it's all good.

  4. Allowing the imagination to be in browsing mode is so important, even moreso when the mind is overworked with the practical details and lists of daily life. I'm in one of those busy times myself and appreciate that much more being able to slow down for an hour and go roaming through blogs to see what my artist friends are making and thinking! I know all these little impressions will stay with me and emerge later transformed to prove their value! But for now I can return to my lists refreshed and relaxed! Thanks, F.

  5. Fiona,
    I spend far too long imagining things and sometimes never get to the actual making of things so I'd love to find a way to marshal my thoughts in a clearer way. Sorry about your lurgies - not surprising given your recent hectic schedule. Hope you have a swift recovery.

  6. Robyn - glad it was timely for you - it is timely for me, and I love my new verb - to moodle!

    Maire - sometimes it does just seem to be one thing after another - I kind of like the idea of putting letting go onto the to-do list and seeing what happens...

    Jo - yes, it's all in the balance isn't it? Some of this and some of that.

    G/TT - I think that browsing arty blogs and stuff is very good for the mind - it lets it make connections and associations and get ideas...

    Lesley - how funny; we sometimes do spend too much time in browse/dither mode before taking action. Sometimes we never get the a spare moment to...lurgies on the mend thank you!


I appreciate your thoughts and comments; thanks for taking the time.