turn, Baby, turn

by Andrea Elizabeth

I’m on page 305, the beginning of the section called, “The Seducer’s Diary” in Either/Or, and Kierkegaard is describing how the poetic process combines reflection and, I’m reading between the lines, forgetting. You sort of forget the stark occurrence when you add the artistic touch. I’ll not go into if this on the whole is good or bad.

But it made me think of how artists aren’t bored. Embellishing is entertaining, as is making something new. Maybe some do this to stop being bored. Now if God were bored and then created, that would make him bound by time. Bored before creating, not bored while creating, then he either keeps creating, as in new situations for us to react to, or just watches us, with or without surprise. But since he does not exist in time, and knows no deficiency, then he was not bored when he created. Neither was he perpetually creating, but it may be part of a similar movement of perpetual kenosis. An overflow of his nature.

Artists do have tedious aspects of their craft, however, such as preparing the canvas, cleaning the brushes, opening and squeezing the paints on the palette, etc. What they seek is to get into “the zone” which is the closest we come to losing track of time. It is an ever moving rest.

But it is different than their product. The zone is sort of the aftereffect of getting the gears turning. It is a coasting speed. But the spectator is more interested in the new and exciting. He needs stimulation to get his gears turning. He’s interested in the unexpected, unusual and surprising. He has trouble with mundane repetition. Coasting is really only appreciated after one’s gears are already whirring. If one is in a non-moving, resting state, immediately rolling down a hill becomes a shocking, unbalanced, traumatic experience, which may be entertaining to a spectator, but not to the one experiencing it. So, the key must be to stay in the controlled, coasting state where repetition isn’t boring. One’s gears must need to be kept going fast. I think this is done by prayer. If one is praying with grace, he can endure the boring parts of life. He doesn’t have to find shocking, stimulating things to get his wheels turning.

Not that one can’t experience doldrums while praying. But if he’s addicted to externally stimulating things, he wont push through those. Should his motivation be eventual reward of bright lights, levitation, clairvoyance and bi-location? In a pinch, maybe, but love is better.