The Creating life

Last week I wrote about my admiration for Elizabeth Gilbert’s book Big Magic.

This book invites us all to be an open vessel to receive the ideas floating among us.

It reminds me of catching those” fairies” in the air to make a wish on a summer day.

Our theme of Create this month has been tumbling around in my mind, and I remember my second year in architecture school when we were assigned our first real project to design a building. 

Our instructor talked about having a “big idea.” He showed us other buildings with “big ideas,” but we did not understand how our “big idea” would arrive. 

I might have tried to order one from Amazon or searched on Google, but this was when we were still drawing with Koh-I-Noor Rapidograph ink pens on Strathmore boards.

At some point, we all finally started trying things. We’d look at the site’s typography and the sun patterns across the site and imagine what activities would happen within the spaces in the building. 

We talked with each other and looked up other architects and artists, paintings and looked to nature for inspiration. Some sparks would finally catch, and an idea would emerge. They were not always great ideas. But they moved the needle. 

The deadlines would arrive after a few weeks, and there would be at least two or three all-nighters spent in the studio, and then we’d turn the project in. 

Designing a building is like creating a life. It’s a process. You have to look inside and outside yourself for inspiration. You have to collaborate and sometimes expend more energy than you ever imagined you could.

Unlike in architecture school, however, in life, the projects keep going. We are continually creating, day after day. The pressing invitation to create a life is about more than just doing life. 

I’ve been wondering what would happen if we stopped asking each other, “What do you do?” 

Creating a life is about the curiosity and courage to imagine your wildest dreams, nudging them along, and leaving space and nurturing them to unfold. 

So, let’s start asking each other, “What are you creating?” 

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