Tuesday, January 12, 2010

How do you furnish your mind?

Edith Kramer once asked me how I furnished my mind... What was the "furniture" that I put in there. Well, at the time I hesitated, not really all that keen on admitting to some of the pablum that was passing itself off as "furniture" in there, so of course I turned the question around and asked her how she furnished her mind.

Edith said because of her classical European education, her mind was pretty well furnished with the works of Freud, Goethe, Heinrich Heine, Ernest Thompson Seton, and Selma Lagerlof to name just a few. She said she was never bored, even when swimming laps, because she could always entertain herself with something from her "furniture". She just wondered what young folks today furnished their minds with.

Now of course with all the information and images flying at us every day, I seriously make an effort to keep the furnishings as simple as possible. I might play with an idea or two, a few images, or some new art technique. Mostly I try to keep the space as open as possible so that when I see something of delight while out walking, I'm able to think about what I might do with it. Or if I come across a new idea or technique, I am free to think about how to apply it. So I would say my "furniture" is pretty Zen spare, with a tatami floor, a nice flower arrangement and a scroll with some elegant calligraphy hanging next to an open window.

So how do you furnish your mind?
You do get to choose what you put into it, you know.
How do you choose?

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