Mystery & Understanding: Share a Teeter-Totter
There have been occasions in which people have asked me where my visual ideas come from. While I always appreciate the question and the interest, I almost always have an immediate sense of panic rise up in my throat. Quite honestly, I feel this way because most of the time I have no conscious clue as to where most of it comes from. It’s a bit of a mystery that I attribute to a lifetime of experiences that have congealed into an amorphous mass, floating around somewhere in my hippocampus. Due to some smell, visual stimulation or sound, some part or parts of this mass get dislodged and make their way up front to the conscious, working part of my brain. These parts may or may not have anything in common with each other to the casual observer. I never question this, however, as I’ve come to trust my intuition with these things. It still remains a mystery though, which is where I feel most comfortable. It is in this land of juxtapositions, where seemingly unrelated or even competing themes, ideas and subjects reside, that I choose to keep company. If not in complete harmony, they at least give one another the benefit of the doubt and make for an interesting get-together of ideas. Blood orange hot air balloons, Sasquatch tending to mulled cider, a beard-bound parachuting bacteria with an attitude, ancient yak with internal gear mechanisms. These may seem nonsensical, absurd or random, but all are imbued and glued together with a sense of whimsy, joy and mystery.
I love the sense of hope that mystery and the unknown can posit. When you don’t know the answer, or inner workings of something, either anything is possible or magic is afoot. Sasquatch may or may not exist, but the idea of them existing is thrilling, even if unlikely. In a world of cynical sideways glances and sarcastic quips, who does it hurt to believe or at least entertain said belief? The idea that something can exist without our overanalyzing, studying and prying it to pieces feels refreshing and in a sense, freeing.
I will play devil’s advocate to myself here (as humans, we are a study in contrast). The opposite of everything I just stated is also true. Insatiable curiosity can lead us to see things in a new light, leading to an understanding of how things truly work which inevitably leads to more questions and stokes the bonfire of inquiry. If you look at how a tree is able to move fluids up and down it’s trunk without feeling a giddy tingle, then we might need to check your pulse.
In essence, it is the need for mystery and the unknown juxtaposed with a passion for exploration and understanding (learning) that underlies all of the creative endeavors I participate in. This also explains the strange hold that kombucha has on so many people (including me) these days. We seem to understand many of the mechanisms of how the culture works. However, the true breadth of the inner workings remains unknown and mysterious. It resists becoming our absolute minion and ultimately holds our attention and respect because of this.
Spicy Mike Kin