Use the Good Paper

September 26, 2014 by  
Filed under current, Wisdom Space


Creativity is a Destructive Act.

There is an element of destruction with everything we create. And this can be the thing that holds us back, that stills our voice, that has us staring into space or scrubbing grout with a toothbrush.

When an artist paints, they use up paint, and the canvas is no longer pristine white.

When a knitter knits, the ball unwinds.

When a carpenter saws and hammers and carves, he is destroying the untouched nature of the wood.

But more than this.

By painting this painting, this canvas and these paints are no longer available to be anything else.

By knitting this shawl, this beautiful handmade yarn is no longer available to be a sweater or scarf or tea cosy.

By making this table, the carpenter is foregoing the possibility of making a chair or a dresser or a bedhead.

By making this collage, these clippings are gone.

It takes great courage to perform an act of creation.

David will never again be a raw block of marble.

But more than this.

That block of marble will never be anything else.

That fabric will never be anything but a small element in this quilt.

There will never be another first novel, another chance to make a heady first impression.

There is inherent in every act of creation, the destruction of all the other possibilities for the raw materials and our time.

As creators, crafters, craftswomen, we hold back. We procrastinate, stop ourselves from putting fingers to keyboard or casting on or cracking that first tile. What if… it’s not good enough? What if… I discover what I really want to make? What if… it’s not the masterpiece I can see in my head? What if… it’s horrible!?

We fear the destruction of these precious materials, this precious time. This fear – this hesitancy to make that first chip in the marble – keeps us from the beauty, the soaring high of creation.

We dabble on the edges. We use the cheap paper. We stockpile fabric and tiles in all hues, horde our ideas waiting for a sign, and on our deathbed may wonder at our foolishness.

What could we make, if we embraced the destruction? 

What could we make, if we only used the good paper from the very start?

About Káren

Karen WallaceI am Káren Wallace – empath, see-er of your depths, coach to women who long to light up their world and have clean knickers for tomorrow.

Like Michelangelo I see the statue in the stone. My gift is to help you see the single tree within the forest. With the perspective of that incredible treasure that’s already within you, I guide you to become what you know you could be. With huge doses of pragmatism and love.


2 Responses to “Use the Good Paper”
  1. Haha! The moment I saw the title of this article, I felt like you were writing about me, Káren! When I think back to all the yarn, paints, paper, crayons, etc etc I’ve hoarded over the years… I had never thought of it like this before, though – that the act of creation requires an act of destruction of the materials we use in our creation, simply because we can’t then use them for something else. Now that you’ve said it, I’m thinking: of course! That’s why I’ve spent so much of my life procrastinating. It makes so much sense! I’m pleased to announce, though, that I have now started to use the good paper. I may not have created a masterpiece yet, but I’m working on it, and I’m enjoying the process! :-)

    • Ha! I was definitely *inspired* by you, Julia :) Yay for using the good paper, and I love that you’re enjoying the process. I believe that even if we don’t ever paint a Mona Lisa or compose an Aida, the practice is so good for our soul it doesn’t matter. When we’re enjoying the act of creation, then the outcome, the final product is almost of secondary importance. That said, I’m sure there are masterpieces in your future – and I know you’ve created them already in photography (I’ve seen the proof:) xx

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