Thursday, April 2, 2009

Creative Tension

Yesterday I did a tour of Pacific Gardens Cohousing Community with a representative of our construction management company. She was upset because there was a problem with the kitchen cabinets. The way in which the subcontractor had installed them failed to meet her company's usual standards.

While she was pointing out problem after problem, one part of my mind was appreciating her commitment to quality and her attention to detail. Another part of my mind was looking out the kitchen window towards the glass-covered pedestrian street that runs down the middle of our building. I was visualizing myself standing in my kitchen, preparing a meal or making a cup of ginger tea.

I imagined times when I would enjoy privacy, and when I would keep my blinds closed. I do like to curl up with a book in one hand and a cup of tea in the other. But I imagined that there would be other times when I would open my blinds, when I would take my cup of tea out into the glass-covered atrium and see who else was out and about, and when I would participate in shared meals in our Common House.

In the last few days I have been bombarded by so called problem after so called problem. Although I don't always do it, this week I have done a good job of returning again and again to the vision of what I love.

It helps that I recently read Bruce Elkin's free ebook, Staying Up in Down Times. I enjoyed the entire book, but especially Chapters 6, 7 and 8, in which Bruce discusses creative tension. I find it takes discipline to be fully aware of where I am now and simultaneously focus on what I want to create. As Bruce indicates, creating is qualitatively different from problem-solving. I find it tempting to default to problem-solving, but this week I have spent the majority of my time in creative mode.

The so called problems with the kitchen cabinets are being addressed.

I am co-creating a phenomenal community.

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