Understanding how creation and destruction are delicately intertwined is one of the fundamental keys to making something extraordinary.
We moved into our second house almost two years ago, and like many other happy homeowners we inherited a predetermined garden. Unfortunately, this once cherished garden was not suited to our talents and tastes and so it languished...unattended.
Last fall as we looked out on our sorry little garden, my husband asked me what I wanted to do about it and like Attila the Hun out on a battlefield, I said, "I want to RIP it up and START OVER!"
I'm not sure if this is a Northwest Portland thing, but the moment you start pulling up a little plant and laying it to rest on the compost heap, once friendly neighbors start grimacing as if the roots you just ripped out of the ground were somehow intricately connected to their soul's well-being.
Luckily for me, my husband took the brunt of passerby's clucking and unhappy looks as one day he proceeded to make my dream come true and create a fresh, clean canvas of dirt!
This mass destruction of plant life felt sinfully delicious, and part of me wonders why people are so opposed to this wiping-the-slate-clean experience.
Then I hit on something important. Maybe people are afraid to feel the intense energy behind rubbing something out, ripping something apart, wiping it all away, and annihilating it into oblivion because in fact they might actually like it, become attached to it, and then where would that all lead...to something creative?
Honestly, I can't think of anything more freeing than recycling a piece of art that didn't work, white washing over a painting that no longer speaks to you, or dumping the latest kitchen experiment that tastes like glue onto the compost.
To create something new, you inevitably have to destroy something old. To change your mind you have to let go of one idea to embrace another. To move to the next step of development the person you were yesterday must die. To allow this constant becoming to flow you are always creating and destroying in every moment...so why not savor every time you need to break it all down again and start from scratch?!
What have you been longing to break down to its most elemental form?
See my whole Behind the Scenes series for more musings on art and design.