05 March 2010


"Neuroscientists have found boredom to be a source of feelings of well being and a strong sense of self. In boredom, the brain continues to fire away in those regions that conjure hypothetical events and new possibilities. The wandering mind, the dream world, can be a better world than the real nuts-and-bolts world and for the artist, with the addition of task-positive skills, it can transform into the joyful business of making it happen." Robert Genn talked about the "task-positive" and "task-negative" areas of the brain in a recent newsletter. This task-negative area -- the wandering mind -- is what comes into play, I think, when you "think with your hands", ie when you simply mess about. When you "do something, and respond to it". When you stop trying too hard; when it doesn't need to be perfect.
One thing leads to another - looking up the phrase "thinking with your hands" led not only to a book by Richard Sennet about craftsmanship, but also to this site, which says: "Once you think with your hands, the mind will never forget. Building a model reveals solutions through the process of thinking with our hands like a craftsman, combining the elements of volume with detail, and precision with an unquestioned instinctive knowledge."

Yes indeed, at this very moment I'm procrastinating getting going - avoiding getting into the making-doing-thinking-evolving-reacting mode. Because ... the outcome "needs" to be "perfect"! Isn't that what holds us back all too often?

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