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Imagining What’s Next

“Life is a blank canvas, and you need to throw all the paint on it you can.” ― Danny Kaye

We’ve all seen enough musicians creating songs out of thin air to know there’s something to the process of fiddling around. We’ve seen cooking shows where a jumble of random ingredients are turned into an incredible plate. We’ve all seen improvisation where the cast builds from whatever cue they were left with and creates magic with it. This figuring it out with what we’ve got as we do it is part of the creative process, yet we don’t always give ourselves the same license to do just that. We simply never begin.

Some days you look at the blank canvas and go blank yourself. Some days you can throw everything you’ve got in yourself at it. The trick is to just begin. and be open enough to let what’s next flow out of you. We shouldn’t get so caught up in the imaging what’s next part. We ought to just start, awkwardly perhaps, but still a start. And do it with gusto. We forget we can paint over mistakes. We can delete entire scenes. We can move on and start anew. Life demands only the start. The next can change as we do.

Beginning with the finished work in mind may seem the logical starting point, like setting your destination into the GPS. But a creative life doesn’t always work that way. When we face the blank canvas in art and writing and building a new life a step away from our old life, sometimes simply working with whatever ingredients we have in our personal pantry and figuring it out as we go along is our way past blank. Do the work enough and we may just realize that blankness is nothing but a point of progression towards what’s next.

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