September 8, 2015

All Talk And No Action

Artist: Ann Blockley
Ever since I wrote that post on Creative Geniuses, I itched to get my hands on the actual book that inspired the interview and, a few days later, I was avidly reading through Creative Thinkering. It's an absolutely fabulous book, and I highly recommend it to anyone interested at all in the creative process and wanting to improve upon his/her imagination and creative problem-solving capacities.

Anyway, here's a small passage which talks about those who love to talk and think and devise plans for something they'd like to do/create/discover, but when it comes down to it, never actually do the doing/creating/discovering. To illustrate the point, Michael Michalko transcribes a parable by Søren Aabye Kierkegaard (1813-1855):

Art by Lucy Newton
   "A certain flock of geese lived together in a barnyard with high walls around it. Because the corn was good and the barnyard was secure, these geese would never take a risk. One day a philosopher goose came among them. He was a very good philosopher, and ever week they listened quietly and attentively to his learned discourses. "My fellow travelers on the way of life," he would say, "can you seriously imagine that this barnyard, with great, high walls around it, is all there is to existence
   "I tell you, there is another and a greater world outside, a world of which we are only dimly aware. Our forefathers knew of this world. For dd they not stretch their wings and fly across the trackless wastes of desert and ocean, of green valley and wooded hill? But alas, here we remain in this barnyard, our wings folded and tucked into our sides, as we are content to puddle in the mud, never lifting our eyes to the heavens, which should be our home."
   These geese thought this was very fine lecturing. "How poetical," they thought. "How profoundly existential. What a flawless summary of the mystery of existence."
Often the philosopher spoke of the advantages of flight, calling on the geese to be what they were. After all, they had wings, he pointed out. What were wings for, but to fly with?
Elegance in flight,
by Art LaMay
Often her reflected on the beauty and the wonder of life outside the barnyard, and the freedom of the skies. And every week the geese were uplifted, inspired, moved by the philosopher's message. They hung on his every word. They devoted hours, weeks, months to a thoroughgoing analysis and critical evaluation of his doctrines. They produced learned treatises on the ethical and spiritual implications of flight. All this they did.
But one thing they never did. They did not fly! For the corn was good, and the barnyard was secure."

No comments:

Post a Comment