6. Creation in the Arts

One day, when I was a little burnt out from working in the studio, I came across an interesting magazine article—“Culinary Heaven,” by Okoji Rosanjin.

Once upon a time, there was a man. This man thought to himself, “First, I must find a plot of land… with fertile soil. And on this plot of land, I will plant some vegetables. Then, I’ll be able to eat a variety of fresh vegetables every day.” But, the man did not set out to look for land. He just stayed at home, doing nothing. He became hungry, so he chewed on a piece of bread.

The next day, the man thought, “Vegetables are well and good, but it’s better to have a cow. Then, I’ll be able to eat delicious meat.” But, the man still did not move. He became hungry again, so he ate the rest of his bread. He didn’t notice at first, but as he lolled about home, his face started getting a little puffy.

He continued on this way, staying at home, thinking a lot, but never rising to action. And as he went on like this, his face kept swelling up, and his unused arms, legs and body began shriveling up.

He became so hungry that he ate his shriveled arms and legs, and even his body. In the end, all that was left of him was his thinking face and eating mouth. There was nothing wrong with what he thought. His only problem was that he never stood up to take action. There are a lot of people like him in the world. Their thoughts are correct, and they never make errors in judgment. They also never get up and take action for themselves. The secret to making a delicious meal is action. Thinking is important, too. Listening is important, too. But translating all of this into action is the most important of all.

If we read this parable, replacing meal preparation with art, we see how important the act of creating is. (Japanese site)

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