20 May 2009


someone (i cannot for the life of me remember who) posted this quote several weeks ago. i have come back to ruminating about it since then and i am simultaneously inspired and appalled by it.
what do you think? are we all doomed to recycling ideas? is that such a bad thing? is it possible to tell the difference between innovation and imitation? i would be interested in hearing thoughts. one of the things i miss most about school (yes, these five years), one of the reasons i wish i had a special man-friend (i guess he would have to be the perfect one, obviously, since not all boys like talking about ideas like this) is talking about ideas! and about creativity and about work that is good or not, etc etc etc.
you know. so, even though i would prefer to have such a conversation face-to-face, share them with me in blogland, because that is what is available at the moment.
have a great wednesday. this week is a doozey for me, so i will be really glad when it is over.


  1. I think Ambika posted this at Into the Fray ...

    I guess I didn't give this quote much thought because I don't think it really matters if thoughts or ideas are original. I don't care about being first or different, I care about being a valuable contributor. I'm sure ideas that feel new to me have been dreamt before, but that doesn't taint them: They are still powerful to me, and, potentially, to the people I touch.

  2. i think there's a big aura of reverence around originality. but that censors all that is deemed "unoriginal" and who can really say? it's like the "what is art?" conversation. as a teacher, i personally love to steal, but i can't keep any lesson or activity just as it is. i love the idea of stealing only what speaks to our souls because the author (or artist) has always written a different book, essentially, than the readers are reading anyway. even if i do steal, it will never be the same again, and that, i believe is the definition of innovation. there is nothing new under the sun. humans themselves are the only true originals, and that's because they're created by God. so have fun with what's under the sun and make it your own. i think that's as original as it gets.

    thanks for the great food for thought!

  3. yeah, i really like the last part of the quote: "it's not where you take things from, it's where you take them to."

  4. Creation by definition is the process of making new things. And originality exists because personhood exists.

    I think this quote blurs the boundary between appreciation and creation. The fact that we are influenced does not mean we need to make a project out of being influenced by intentionally collecting objects we love together and repurposing them with our mark.

    Our real project is asserting our own view of the world, and all the confusion and passion that goes along with is wholly ours.

  5. Don't you enjoy the thought of orignial? It's bigger than us, its content is without bounds! H. Brown is right, there is nothing new under the sun. Yet I'm glad we can tap into that "creative" side because we can move out of the horizontal plane and be amazed at and in the vertical. It shapes us.

    Here's to the wonder of a blue explosion of sky in the light.

  6. this has got me thinking!!! and I do think it's so true! and it probably just doesn't matter in the long run. ;)