For some people a neat desk, an ordered room, may be the ticket to making art. Knowing where everything is settles some of us and may aid in the process of seeking. For others, however, the absolute opposite is true. According to Dr. Kathleen D. Vohs of the University of Minnesota, “Disorderly environments seem to inspire breaking free of tradition which can produce fresh insights.” She suggests that when we want to think in new, unpredictable ways, working in a messy office may aid in our ability to do so.
Maybe that’s partly why it’s the forest, in particular, that fosters my imaginative thinking—it’s darn messy out there. Take a walk in the woods and we see bushes upon bushes, tree after tree, fallen tree limbs and branches everywhere; the ground is layered in a mulch of forest detritus. Looking out ahead while in the woods often I can’t actually see the trees for the forest because of that wild plethora. Such seeming disarray gives my subconscious permission to dream. Out in the woods, it’s not only the thick chaos of the plants and trees but the many actions of the animals all occurring at the same time. So, we, too may swoop and burrow, tunnel, lurk and sting!
My desk is its own forest, my own wild disarray!