Friday, September 5, 2014

The Ceremony of Zentangle: It's not about Pumpkins

Choreographer Twyla Tharp, in her 2003 book The Creative Habit, describes each day as the same: waking, consuming the same breakfast of three hard-boiled egg whites and a cup of coffee, putting on workout clothes and legwarmers, walking out of her Manhattan apartment, hailing a taxi and asking the driver to take her to the Pumping Iron gym at 91st Street and First Avenue, where she works out for two hours. "The ritual is not the stretching and weight training I put my body through each morning at the gym," she says. "The ritual is the cab. The moment I tell the driver where to go, I have completed the ritual."

"Being creative," says Tharp, "is an everyday thing, a job with its own routines. ........

"This is no different for a painter finding his way to the easel or a medical researcher returning to the laboratory. The routine is as much a part of the creative process as the lightning bolt of inspiration (perhaps more). And it is available to everyone. If creativity is a habit, then the best creativity is the result of good work habits. They are the nuts and bolts of dreaming."  Twyla Tharp 

Having just taught a Zentangle class where everything I said and did is fresh in my mindI am reminded reading the above on Robert and Sara Genn's blog post this morning, that this is mostly what the "ceremony" of Zentangle is about.  I REALLY stress the ceremonyrelax, breathe, smile, appreciateetc with my students because I feel this REALLY something they cannot get by just reading a book or just visiting blogs.  THAT is what being a CZT is mostly forto show people how the "ceremony" of Zentangle fits in the picture of Zentangle in it's core essence.  

Even though you may Zentangle your pumpkin which is a totally nutty thing to do (but fun).  The real Zentangle comes with pen and paper.  The minute you get in the ceremony where you "draw the string" you have completed the ritual (ceremony) and you slide effortlessly then through the rest of the ceremony to the reflection and appreciation.  

It is partly way I like the new group called "Square One" on Facebook.  No pumpkins.  Hahaha.  I am not knocking pumpkins (obviously) but that is not what this is all about.  On Square One it is just that, black, white and gray and paper.  So go ahead an tangle your shoes, your nails and your upright piano.  But never forget the ceremonythe breathing, and the pen and the paper.  

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