The landscape of creative thought is a space unencumbered by the self-imposed limiters that so often frustrate the free flow of ideas. The “duties and obligations” of life sometimes stand in the way of a hope that would otherwise take us flying, as if on the wings of an eagle. In a silly attempt to form fit time into our own schedules, we miss out on the quiet flow of a stream and the sound of the birds – things that better tell of time’s passage.
A turn-of-the-century composer, Edward MacDowell, must have recognized these things when he bought a farm in Peterborough, New Hampshire – a farm that was later transformed into a colony for artists. It was there that MacDowell produced some of his best music. The stillness and peace of nature must have provided the sense of timelessness that is important for creativity. His experience there also proved to be the stimulus for a greater thought, that of bringing other artists together, retreating to the farm and working on projects to advance their own particular art-forms.
Recognizing the merit of MacDowell’s idea, a handful of the most wealthy and influential men of the day – J.P Morgan, Andrew Carnegie, and Grover Cleveland, to name a few – funded the effort and named the MacDowell Colony in honor of its founder. Since 1906, The MacDowell Colony has provided the climate that so inspired its founder to create new and important works of art.
Over the years, thousands of artists have benefited from the collaborative and inspiring environment of the MacDowell Colony. In a recent featured article in the “Wall Street Journal,” nonfiction writer Jane Bronx says this of the Colony: “Almost everyone has an internal expectation when they come here.”
That “internal expectation” to which Bronx refers is hope, the hope of a something new.
Day 3 Guide
One of the essentials for creativity is hope. And hope is best thought of as “an expectation of things desired.” What do you expect of today, my friend? What do you desire?
For more information on The MacDowell Colony: http://www.macdowellcolony.org/
© 2006, Levi Hill