I found this antique pitcher outside an apartment building today. It was amongst some discarded books and knick-knacks, most of which was junk, but then there was this pitcher. I normally would have just left it, but this pitcher held my attention.
I felt myself coming up with all the reasons I should just leave it: “I don’t need it.” “It’s old.” “It’s discarded junk.” But then I stopped myself and decided to take it home.
Why did I do this? Two threads came together to inspire me: the first was Justina Blakeney’s book, Jungalow. In this interior design book, she talks about finding old stuff at markets, swamp meets, antique fairs, etc., and giving them new life. Re-using them, remixing them, incorporating them into home decor, and so on.
The second was a note I keep on my desk, which I saw in The Creative Act by Rick Rubin (the best book Ive read on creativity in a long time): “Base decisions on the internal feeling of being moved. Notice what holds your interest.”
This pitcher was holding my interest! I didn’t really know why, but that’s not the point. The point is I should base decisions off of this feeling, without the need to rationalize it. I both noticed this was holding my interest, and also noticed that my old thought patterns were telling me all the reasons to discard that thought. So I did the opposite and followed what held my interest.
These two threads came together to change change my behavior. The pitcher is now more than a pitcher – it’s a symbol of my ongoing journey to reach my creative potential.