The Mechanics of Fear and Creativity

As a designer, a brand person, a journeyer,

a wanderer, what know you of fear?

I contemplate: metus | fear.

Things are arranged; then they are rearranged. Things are stable, then they are unstable. What do you hold to: that which is arranged, that which is not?

Is there beauty in symmetry?

Or, symmetry skewed, the chaotic fracture?

I contemplate:

The Mechanics of Fear and Creativity

The Mechanics of Fear and Creativity

In our quest for the right arrangement of things,
do we focus on the accessibly symmetrical,
or the arranged column left, column right?
Would that easeful patterning be less fearsome?
I think that fear can come into play.

Is rhythmic better?
The Mechanics of Fear and Creativity

Is a patterning better, to an absence of fear.

The Mechanics of Fear and Creativity

When I was studying calligraphy with Lloyd Reynolds, we talked about fear and meticulousness. Being too fearful in the work, in a manner, it’s about an absence of fearfulness and the move to flow, freedom, rhythmic vitality.

The Mechanics of Fear and Creativity

Going somewhere? Or no where?

The Mechanics of Fear and Creativity

Upside down, right side up, which way?
The Mechanics of Fear and Creativity

Even a color, a warning.
Don’t go here.
The Mechanics of Fear and Creativity

Imagery photographed at DIA | Beacon, NY

I had a client once who told me about his love of doing things made him fearful.

Interestingly, however, I never saw, or experienced, once, this truth — from him; in fact, he wasn’t that bold or fearless.

Another friend mentioned, “do one thing every day that you are afraid of.”. But what is that? Crossing the street? Being in an elevator?

Walking in an area where you’re not supposed to be?

Or risk, exposures, dangerous thinking — actions that are bold, things that stride out past where you are comfortable. Being fear full is a two sided affair — one part, to the willingness to risk everything to get across to another vista; you climb the impossible, to reach a new view. And, too, to fear — you are exposed to the liability of losing everything.

Robert Bly, the poet, spoke of poems that take the leap. Read on. You jump somewhere, you take off, when you read them — they push you over the edge. Flight, you are aloft. To someplace new. Another way of seeing. Another form of being.

There is, to the nature of fear, a way of being timid in everything. A kind of living that puts everything neatly in its place, but allays the character of the incessant emergence of chaos.

Things happen, things come into play that can’t be anticipated. And fear merely lets them in. Chaos reigns in the perceived management of hopeful harmonies — but that is the harmony, in a way — knowing that in the most carefully orchestrated serenity, discord can barge in. Knowing fear, looking at it, allows for the observant placement of objects, in time — that you know might be swept away, in a quick gesture of surprise. Arrange, like the balancing of stones. But know that the earth shifts and they can, and will, fall down, to a new arrangement.

I contemplate:

meticulous muh-TIK-yuh-lus adjective
marked by extreme or excessive care in the consideration or treatment of details

“Meticulous” is derived from the Latin word for “fearful” — “meticulosus” — and comes from the Latin noun “metus,” meaning “fear.” Although “meticulous” currently has no “fearful” meanings, it was originally used as a synonym of “frightened” and “timid.” This sense had fallen into disuse by 1700, and in the 19th century “meticulous” acquired a new sense of “overly and timidly careful” (probably influenced by the French word “méticuleux”). This in turn led to the current meaning of “painstakingly careful,” with no connotations of fear at all. The newest use was controversial among some usage commentators at first, but it has since become by far the most common meaning and is no longer considered an error.
© Merriam Webster

Fear. Care less. Care full.

Fear less. Fear full.

That’s what I know.

What about you —

fearful, meticulous, bold, going forward?

TIM | Decatur Island Studios