We all have one, don't we.

Us creative people choose (or sometimes, it is chosen for us) a place from where creating worlds and new mind spaces comes easy.

I said chosen for us because the decision to pick one spot over all others is sometimes not a conscious one. Rather, it is instinctive. We feel the call of the void. It could be the sofa in the living room, the bed where you rest at night. Or perhaps that old desk beside the back window, the one where dust gathers in capricious forms, and coffee mug ring marks that are older than you dot its wooden landscape.

Whichever or wherever it is, that is our spot. We take it as our own, vanquishing all others from it. That space channels and bolsters our creativity, squeezing our mind onto the computer screen, or the page, or canvas, as it were a lemon. And once we get those creative juices going, we can't stop, can we.

Creativity takes courage, Henri Matisse once said. Matisse, a painter (and also part-time sculptor, print maker, and much more), is considered to be one of the cornerstones to the opening of arts to the masses in the early decades of the twentieth century, along with Pablo Picasso and Marcel Duchamp.

I would go one step further to Matisse's wise quote: Creativity takes a lot of courage. The blank page is a monster, an abyss that scares and intimidates. Would anyone care about what I write? Is it good enough? Would I care? The answers to these questions aren't easy. They are as complex and subjective as the human mind itself. And whatever you choose the answer to be, it will have profound implications on your life.

If you write, or paint, or like sculpting, knitting, or whichever your aptitude is, a million ideas will likely be swirling around your mind at any time of day or night. At some point, you will want to put those ideas out there, for others to see, read, wear, and enjoy. And to do that, to take that crucial step of transferring those ideas from the self to the dreaded outside does take a whole lot of determination. Because you see, those ideas, which before were safely tucked away in some dark corner of your mind where it's always dim and private, will now be roaming freely out there, in the big bad world full of garish neon lights and savage criticism.

And with freedom comes responsibility.

We must ensure that those ideas -our ideas- are sound, that they have potential, and that they are sane. And hey, if they are commercial and can earn you a pretty penny, that's a welcome bonus.

Ideas are wondrous and awe-inspiring things, aren't they. They can come from anywhere, at any time. A smell in the street, perhaps; a scent that spurs your memory into remembering a place, or a time that meant a lot in your life. A past lover, or that haunted house of your childhood, where girls would dare boys to enter and retrieve a trophy in lieu of a kiss on the lips. That house, though long lost to the relentless wrath of the wrecking ball, still stands deep within us. Its path still looks as barren as it always did, and the house's threshold still creaks the way it used to when stepped on. And we sometimes find ourselves inside, looking up the stairs, and we see something up there that shouldn't exist, but somehow does, and it's watching us. And when we turn to run, we find the door locked.

Whatever, and wherever ideas come from, they are marvelous, and dangerous, too. As Oscar Wilde said, "An idea that is not dangerous is unworthy of being called an idea at all.

Ideas are time-proof. They remain. A human lifespan is but a flicker in the universal bubble, compared to an idea's lifetime. I believe ideas dwell in a different layer of reality. An alternate dimension, if you like, naming conventions do not apply here. But there certainly is a space, there is a somewhere where ideas flow in a raging torrent of words, sounds, images, and smells.

And those who are more attuned to creativity can tap into this swirling cauldron of ingenuity.

Published by Fernando Sanchez