Making a lamp
I can easily ponder the form of a lamp for months before I ever make the first rough sketch. The shapes float in a Cerebral-Aided Design dimension. My third eye often goes cross-eyed trying to comprehend the relationship of one piece to another. Possibilities audition and are rejected.
I get stuck. My mind becomes distracted with some unrelated thing, like my job for instance. Then out of some soft fold of gray matter comes dancing the right shape. My job is forgotten. My heart races.
From Robert M. Pirsig in Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance:
"Let's consider a reevaluation of the situation in which we assume that the stuckness now occurring, the zero of consciousness, isn't the worst of all possible situations, but the best possible situation you could be in. After all, it's exactly this stuckness that Zen Buddhists go to so much trouble to induce; through koans, deep breathing, sitting still and the like. Your mind is empty, you have a hollow-flexible attitude of beginner's mind.
"Consider, for a change, that this is a moment to be not feared but cultivated. If your mind is truly, profoundly stuck, then you may be much better off than when it was loaded with ideas.… Consider the fact that no matter how hard you try to hang on to it, this stuckness is bound to disappear. Your mind will naturally and freely move toward a solution. Unless you are a real master at staying stuck, you can't prevent this. The fear of stuckness is needless because the longer you stay stuck the more you see the Quality-reality that gets you unstuck every time.…
"Stuckness shouldn't be avoided. It's the physic predecessor of all real understanding."