To Focus, Not to Focus


I believe we are more like camera lenses than we know; when we do finally bring ourselves to focus, everything else falls into the background and take on a mesmerizing hum, in effect bringing out whatever we are focusing on even more sharply so.

It is hard to focus when everything else seems to distract: the air, the beauty around, the bustling of other people, the imminence of other tasks, the prospect of doing something else, etc. Thus when I decide to focus, I have to consciously push everything else back and away from me. But it is usually almost always done with reverence and resolution, as if in doing so, I am planning to give whatever is on hand everything that I had. Therefore it is almost always, that I am satisfied with what I have dispensed my attention towards in such a manner.

The more intriguing focusing issues are the ones that do not take much of the mind, but required great attentiveness. Driving for example, you would bid half a mind to attend to the manoeuvre of the car, but the other half would be freed, somewhat bored, hanging so in the air. The mind then engages itself in noticing, the billowing of clouds that lay across the hills afar, the uncovering of grass from snow on the still colourless ground, the synchronicity of the lanes of cars moving together to the side and behind you on the highways, and the occasional car that weaved itself through all of you.

Sewing is another focusing activity that does not take much, the monotonous in and out action of the needle however, entrances to a point where my mind begins to wander on its own to no manís land. Sometimes thatís when I tap on my creativity without intention. But it really is the feeling that presides while I sew that is so pleasurable. I would let my mind wander aimlessly, sometimes dwelling on something that had been occupying my mind for some time; sometimes I would simply revel in the quiet time spent, and taking delight at the end of the neat handiwork.

The worst thing that I consider can be focused upon, is creativity, or to be satisfied in being creative. The more I dwell on it, the more it would evade me, and the more I ran out of it. Creativity, if I was to get down to it, means something that is out of what I normally do as a habit, something out of my knowledge, but delectable to catch in its moment. Not something that I can name as ëthe direct opposite of habitual meansí, therefore if I were to nail down ëcreativityí and tried to go from there, I would have lost it completely. But to spend time cultivating it, allowing it to emerge, nurturing the mind to steer it toward aimless wandering, is definitely viable.

Yes, indeed, ìFocusing on things that are normally taken for granted is a powerful source of creativity.î ñ Edward de Bono, thank you Chris.


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