“In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities, but in the expert’s mind there are few.” -Shunryu Suzuki
I’ve been making observations about my process as I edit IPOS. The hope has been to understand why I gravitate towards certain images, how long I let an image sit before I cut, and how I instinctually craft an overall aesthetic to a scene. It’s been a healthy purging of the conventional, making things look and feel like something I’ve seen before.
With varying degrees of success, I’ll sometimes take part in exercises that help me to shake convention out of my being. Yesterday, with my Moleskine at the ready to record my brilliant observations, I walked through Norton Simon Museum in the company of greats like Picasso and Van Gogh, looking to gain insight and, though I wouldn’t dare to speak it out loud, experience something profound. I imagined myself afterwards enlightened, running in slow motion back into the arms of IPOS and finishing the day with a feeling of real accomplishment rather than dread. Of course, I left slightly disappointed, somewhat drained; in part from having to look so hard for things to connect with, to jot down in my notebook, to Instagram. There was plenty of profundity in that place, but I was too wrapped up in myself to notice much of it. What I failed to remember and struggle with everyday is that like solitude and silence, perhaps my trip to the museum was not a means to an end. It was its own end. I entered that museum “an expert” with ambitious expectations, open to a narrow scope of possibilities, but instead should have entered as “a beginner,” porous to the experience itself, and allowed myself to do less and be more.