This is a photo I took- I regularly take photos of sunsets and sunrises. What I have learnt is that if there are more clouds, the sunset is more dramatic and beautiful. In the analogy with life, the more clouds or problems you overcome, the more beautiful your life will be, especially towards the end. So don’t avoid try to problems- welcome them!
(photo of the sky from my balcony)
When I was child, I used to spend hours lying on the terrace and looking at the sky. The changing colours, the wind, the clouds, the planes, birds and sometimes the flying kites– all fascinated me. In particular I loved sunsets. As I grew up, my focus become more on the things in front of me- the book, the desk and later on, the computer- and inside the room. Many years ago, I think it was Mia Farrow, who was asked how she got her creativity. She replied that she always looks up at the sky. Someone also wrote that while we are stuck inside, we forget to look at the amazing drama of the skies going on. Again, I remember someone who photographed the skies from his window for a whole year- I think it is available as a book. All great thinkers and creative people used to take walks outside and look at the skies. John Constable said words to the effect that ‘light was his teacher’. Nichiren says, “There are trails in the sky where birds fly, but people cannot recognize them. There are paths in the sea along which fish swim, but people cannot perceive them. All people and things of the four continents are reflected in the moon without a single exception, but people cannot see them.”
I remembered then how I used to look at the sky so much as a child and sure, it increased my creativity. It was not wasted time but a time for rejuvenation, rest and reflection. We tend to forget what we did as children, when we were freer of constraints- free of having to do’s- instead we found our own natural, instinctive and low cost ways of being creative. Fortunately I always found the right house (or rather the house found me!), where I can look at the uninterrupted expanse of sky. I try to photograph these amazing scenes and they are on my computer or my camera for me to look at- even those are inspiring. However, nothing beats looking at the real thing!
So now go out and have a look at this amazing thing above you- it is always there and always changing. It will give you an instant creativity shot!