the clues to simple

by Dene Mason on June 17, 2011

God knows my younger self was really good at complicated. If there was a brick wall to be banged up against I could usually find it pretty quickly.

Thankfully, Older Me is big on simplicity.

Simple definitions help.

These are two of my current faves:

Art = the arrangement of form to reveal beauty

Simple. I don’t have to be Picasso. Art is how you set the table. It’s how you frame a photo. It’s how you word a story. Phew.

Creativity = the translation of something vertically perceived into something horizontally expressed

You imagine something. You make it into a tangible thing. You hope that not too much gets lost in translation.

As legendary acting teacher Stella Adler said, ‘Your talent lies in your choices.’

Choose simple.

** both definitions are paraphrased from esoteric philosophy teacher William Meader

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if you can’t be great, be childlike

by Dene Mason on June 10, 2011

Hello. I’m Dene and I like to be good at things.

Actually, I like to be really good at things. The downside of which, is if I’m not sure I can be really good at something straight away then I can find all kinds of resistance to starting out at all (not enough to let go of the idea altogether – more like my own personal purgatory where all the ways it could go really bad are on a constant loop in my head).

I’ve been toying with the idea for this blog for ages. And by toying, I mean thinking, procrastinating, researching, dipping my toes in the water, deciding on a domain name, changing my mind on the domain name, worrying about the how-to, worrying what people will think, and wondering if you can actually die from embarrassment.

And still there was a little voice inside that wanted to do it anyway.

I booked a designer – the fabulous Mynde Mayfield in California. Her specialty is working with creative women who think they can’t do technology (I like to think of her as ‘geek without the eeeek’). The ball was finally rolling, so I … freaked out and procrastinated some more. If there was a Gold Medal for procrastinating I had it in the bag – I even hopped a plane to India to visit my cousin for a few weeks.

But then I remembered, I’ve been here before.

Not so long ago I was terrified of bikes. I had the kind of irrational level of phobia that other people reserve for man-eating sharks and tarantulas. The very thought of me + a pushbike was enough to bring on tears. Truly.

So a friend found me an old bike and another friend offered to ride with me in the quiet streets around her house till I found my mojo. Leader of our little cycling pack was her 4 year old daughter – a blonde-haired, blue-eyed bundle of laughter and energy with one fearless mission – to explore and enjoy the world around her. At all times. At all cost. She was infectious. There’s nothing quite as thrilling and humbling as a 4 year old on training wheels charging ahead and then doubling back to check up on you.

Thankfully, I didn’t fall off or die of injury or embarrassment. In fact, a few months later I rode 40km with a few thousand others in the Noosa Triathlon and it was fun.

So back to my blog and the quiet voice saying, “C’mon, you know you want to.”

Things have been rolling on in
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the design world of Mynde Mayfield, meaning she can’t fit me in to her pipeline until June. It’s wait until then or start now anyway.

Famed choreographer Twyla Tharp said one of the greatest traps in the creative process is the belief that everything has to be perfect before you can take the next step. Procrastination masquerading as perfectionism.

I’d like things to be more perfect. My site won’t get pretty-fied until July but I’m remembering the lesson from my 4 year old friend -

terror + play + curiosity = wonderment & fun

Let the wild rumpus start.

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