In his book The Soul’s Code, James Hillman writes about the acorn theory of psychology. He sees fundamental, core themes and forces flowing throughout our lives. Those drives define our character, and they constantly call us back to our roots, to our genuine paths. They are the acorns that shape our being as they grow into the oak trees of our lives.
In one of his examples, he describes how the fascination with simple art materials like crayons in our childhood can presage the passion for art in adulthood.
That example always resonated with me even though art was always one of my worst subjects in school and remained a peripheral part of my working life for decades.
Nevertheless, art was always a part of me, a kind of unfulfilled fantasy.
Then, in the midst of my life journey, like Dante, I found myself lost in a dark wood where I did not know the way. As I approached my fortieth year, the pressures of a demanding career and of a growing family robbed me of any peace. I needed a place where I could escape the chaos and find an anchor, a mooring, in the tempest.
To my amazement, art became the sanctuary that shielded me, if only briefly, from the confusion and night.
At about the same time, computers and technology became the focus of my professional work and, yes, one of my great sources of joy and anguish. At that moment, my wife bought me my first laptop, a Tandy computer that ran the Microsoft DOS software. The Tandy system had a basic database program where I began to organize my constantly evolving intellectual interests.
I recorded the advice from artists whom I studied in one of my first databases. I called that database Art Notes.
Today, more than 30 years after that first repository, I continue my writing on creativity in this series of essays once again entitled Art Notes.