Get as Close to the Flame as You Can

Get as Close to the Flame as You Can

I saw a video of Graham Nash playing Buddy Holly’s guitar [embedded] and picked up on this quote:

“I think part of the process of this whole thing is to get as close to the flame as you can get without being burned” – Graham Nash

Buddy Holly died at 22 when Graham Nash was 17 – clearly it affected him deeply; you can feel the emotion of the moment as he holds Holly’s guitar and says, “Touching the Flame”.  The guitar isn’t the flame but is there any doubt about which fire Nash refers?

Every creative soul is capable of  a 5 minute monologue about their creative flame.  Odds-on it’s a semi-coherent ramble of disjointed thoughts spoken through a struggle to put feelings into words.  Go ahead, give it a shot: What is the flame and where do I find it? Is it passion, obsession or spirituality? Give me a definition please.

Independent of definition accuracy, I’m convinced that we can’t own the flame; no personal flame exists so it’s not ours to sell, only ours to find.  An artist’s most valuable time is spent seeking the flame and, if lucky, we’re allowed to feel occasional warmth.

Additionally, a great piece of creativity isn’t something that needs explanation. You react to it as a pyromaniac would to flame; drawn to it by curiosity, sensuality, warmth and fear.  Inexplicably, the feeling it gives you is like fitting an ocean through a straw.

All my adult life I’ve played the game of creativity for money: You pay me to add value to your idea of what a photograph should look like – I do my best. Together we’re capable of interesting surprises, but I’m fairly sure the “flame” isn’t warming us; we are simply using the memory of warmth to make a living. It’s as though the better we are at making money the less chance of getting burned, on the other hand, stay away from the flame long enough and you’ll go broke.

Execution is a commodity, yet the talented manage to add original value to an execution. Perhaps original value is the byproduct of near burns. Like internal scars on the imagination we execute personal originality that requires intense heat for renewal. No flame yields stagnation or – worse – a talent void.

Permission To Suck Manifesto Law #16 revisited:

Flame finding is your talent. Imagination is hot, execution is cold. The flame is illusive; if you must obsess about something, make it a flame search. “I think part of the process of this whole thing is to get as close to the flame as you can get without being burned” – Graham Nash

Artistic Expression, Creativity, Musician, Passion, Video

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