What I’ve been reading – ‘Art & Soul, Reloaded’ by Pam Grout

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image – Matt https://www.flickr.com/photos/berger787/ licence https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/ no changes

Yes, yes, I’ve only just begun working through the projects – but I actually finished reading the book itself a little while ago.  And I think it says something, that I had such a good time with it that I decided to actually put it to work and do the weekly projects.  Right?  How often does a book actually inspire you to action, including ones that are designed specifically for that purpose?

I have a print copy of the book (and it’s a lovely object, well-designed.)  It’s structured on a weekly basis for a full  year.  Each chapter has an essay linked to the main project assigned for the week.  Then there’s the ‘Zumba for the Soul’ section per week, three more random activities/tasks/suggestions.  And an inspirational quote/biographical tidbit to sign off.

I think – and Ms. Grout herself notes – that it would be easy to read the book purely as inspiration, to feel good and get lit up with enthusiasm and then…  move on and forget about it.  That would be a shame, though.  I forget who I’m quoting when I invoke the law of precession – Buckminster Fuller?  Things happen, when you take action.  Things you couldn’t have predicted.  Many more than you would have expected, all flowing from your original act like a fountainhead.

But it was pretty probably Goethe who said something about action having ‘genius, power and magic in it’, and how therefore actually getting off your arse and doin’ it – whatever magic act of creativity you  have in mind – was probably the best thing.

The results you get in life – good, bad, indifferent, astounding – depend on how much you engage.  Engage 10%, get 10% results – i.e. results that you’ve actually brought into being as a result of your interaction.  Engage 90%, get 90% results.  If you don’t engage – get out there, interact, create, ask, try – then you’re not getting results at all.  You’re just a null object, having no effect on reality whatsoever.  You’re a bit of flotsam, along for the ride.  You might as well not exist.

Lemme quote Taylor Parkes: ‘Activity is king’.

What would happen if you engaged 100%?  I’d like to find out, personally.

This book is terrific. But the results if you follow its prescription, if you treat it less like a pretty recipe book, and more like the actual contents of your food cupboards that you’re gonna cook and eat – could be truly astonishing.

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