‘Keep looking, stay curious…’

st-michaels-mount-blog

St Michael’s Mount, Cornwall (15 x 20 cms coloured pencil on textured paper 2016)

The poem Hokusai Says by Roger Keyes can be found on the web site of almost every mindfulness practitioner. It encapsulates much that is core to mindfulness but it also speaks, I think, to those of us involved in creative things.

“Keep looking, stay curious” is almost the key to everything in life but certainly true if you aspire to any form of creativity. “Get stuck, accept it…keep doing what you love” – it’s all there, isn’t it?

Here are a few excerpts which relate most pertinently to inspiration and creativity (it’s easy to find the entire poem on the web, as I mentioned, including a video where it is read by the excellent Mark Williams, complete with unnecessary music and images of dandelion seeds blowing in the wind, etc):

 Hokusai says Look carefully.

He says pay attention, notice.

He says keep looking, stay curious.

He says there is no end to seeing.

He says Look Forward to getting old.

He says keep changing, you just get more who you really are.

He says get stuck, accept it, repeat yourself as long as it’s interesting.

He says keep doing what you love.

 …

He says it doesn’t matter if you draw, or write books.

It doesn’t matter if you saw wood, or catch fish.

It doesn’t matter if you sit at home and stare at the ants on your verandah

or the shadows of the trees and grasses in your garden.

It matters that you care.

It matters that you feel.

It matters that you notice.

It matters that life lives through you.

He says don’t be afraid.

Don’t be afraid.

Look, feel, let life take you by the hand.

Let life live through you.

More than anything else I could find, this drawing of St Michael’s Mount seems to fit with the sentiments of this poem. A rather mystical place just off the southern coast of Cornwall, it comes into its own when the sun starts to set and the incoming tide cuts it off from the mainland. It’s a place I’ve tried to capture many times, and this small drawing seems to convey a little of its mystery.

This post is dedicated to a dear friend who has done something brave for the sake of furthering her art: ‘Don’t be afraid…let life take you by the hand.’

 

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18 thoughts on “‘Keep looking, stay curious…’

  1. “It matters that life lives through you.”

    For some reason, that resonates. Not ‘for some reason’, but because I am increasingly aware of the difference in my well being when I open up to experiences and take risks. It boosts my energy and creativity.

    What brave thing did your friend do, Michael? If you can say? Rob

    >

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve not seen that poem before so thanks for sharing it. Lovely artwork, too! Kudos to your friend; it’s not easy to give up a guaranteed and steady paycheck even if you hate the job. Wishing her luck!

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  3. Thank you Michael. It is a beautiful poem that chimes so well with creative endeavour, and so harmoniously accompanied by your wonderful drawing.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. What a brilliant poem. It somewhat sums up the attitude of my father who died a couple of weeks ago at 98. He always looked with curiosity at everything from politics to nature and all in between. Wonderful advice. Nice image you did too!!

    Liked by 1 person

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