Monday 28 August 2017

Turning Up

“If you turn up every day, [your creativity] will learn to trust you.
That’s the creative process.”
- Mary Oliver, American Poet

Today is my 71st birthday, so for seventy-one years I’ve been turning up. And bless Mary Oliver for helping me reframe that process as essential to my creativity.

As I have written before in this blog, Mary Oliver is one of my favourite poets. Born in 1935, she has been writing poetry for decades and won the Pulitzer Prize in 1984. Her latest book, Devotions: The Selected Poems of Mary Oliver, is being released on October 10, 2017. I have already ordered it, so, it’s safe to say that I adore Mary Oliver.

I heard her observation about creativity in an interview with the amazing Krista Tippett, host of the weekly On Being podcast. (Sidebar: Krista Tippett’s exploration of spirituality is an ongoing delight. You can sign up for her weekly free newsletter here and subscribe to her podcast here.) In the interview, Ms. Oliver was discussing the nature of creativity. She said (my paraphrase) that the usual way of framing the creative process was to encourage people to trust their creativity, but she flipped that notion: instead of trusting your creativity, you needed to earn the trust of your creativity by turning up every day and actually using it. Once your creativity knows that you’re taking your gifts seriously, then it will reward you with a flow of ideas, energy, and passion. Very nice.

And that’s how I try to approach my photography. Photograph every day. Download the images. Ruthlessly delete. Keep the diamonds. Repeat. And earn the trust of your creativity.

What follows are a few of the photos that didn’t get deleted this week. Enjoy!

Belleville Motor Home

Bloomfield Cable

Bloomfield Wall

Bloomfield Roof

Prince Edward County Trees

Black Creek Patterns

Little Bluff Flag

Herchimer Street Panel

Garbage Near Herchimer Avenue

Puddle Near Herchimer Avenue

Silo Near Bloomfield

Eternal Flame, Parliament Hill, Ottawa

Canadian Museum of History, Hull

National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa

Outdoor Sculpture in the Rain, National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa.
Sorry, I don't know the name of the artist.

National Gallery of Canada. Ottawa

Kate and Tim's Microwave

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