Our group notebook will provide a space and impetus to roam in the arena of "the world I want," something most of us don't always give time and attention to comparatively. The bonus is the act of fleshing out details in writing or drawing crystallizes our visualizations into a pre-reality. As I mentioned, let's use the example of Leornardo da Vinci's stetchbooks of fantastical and visionary inventions and events for our own.
"Men of lofty genius when they are doing the least work are most active." - Leonardo da Vinci
This notebook will be easy to post to. Include your wildest imaginings and aspirations for a beautiful future written in present tense (be specific as possible), and any accompanying photos via email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Everything is anonymous unless you specify your name in a signature at the end of your email.
"There are lots of people who mistake their imagination for their memory." - Josh Billings
Because this is new, I'll give you a hint of what to expect for Monday. We're going to be cycling through the 54 cards in the Loteria deck since they are simple, concrete rather than abstract symbols. There really is no rhyme or reason to the selection of the Loteria cards. There is a story, however. But the story can wait.
If you're a writer, consider the card simply as a writing prompt. You need not be held to the literal symbol in your daydreaming. Use the Bell simply as a catalyst or starting point.
Perhaps it takes you off into a vision of using sound and vibration to lift raw materials, such as stone block, for the construction of buildings ala the Great Pyramids. Or perhaps you it reminds you of a friend whom wanted to install bell towers all through New Orleans and synchronicize the music. Or perhaps you remember a bell ringing everyday in Oaxaca and that reminds you of how much you adore town squares and plazas. So you write about town squares and common areas. Who knows?
"Impossibility is only the figment of an insufficient imagination." - Phil Duncan
You may also submit sketches, collages, etc and never write a single word in a language if you wish, or even create your own language. I'll investigate if and how we can post music and video (only original or remixed, please) onto the notebook.
"Live out of your imagination, not your history." - Stephen Covey
The guidelines are:
1. Truly desire what you are writing, imagining, concocting, conjuring, sketching for yourself. If it's just so-so for you or just seems like something you should want, consider what a friend told me: a 99% yes is still a no. Why settle? The notebook is meant to be liberating! Go for it! If it's not ringing true, keep going deeper and perhaps use your first draft as a springboard to delve deeper or sideways or simplify or be bolder with your vision. It's easy with pervasive media to get caught up in second-hand dreams that aren't necessarily yours. This 54-day process will help us sift through these dreams streaming through us, separating the pure from the dross, the inspired from the expired.
2. Write or draw in present tense. Describe or draw it as if it is happening. One viewpoint is to even consider time as "simultaneous," so that we don't get caught up in past, present, future tense at all. (For instance, consider time as a river. From an eagle's perspective it may view the entirety of it; from a piece of flotsam floating in the river it feels more linear.)
3. Write in the positive. For instance, "The world is without disease and decay" can be phrased "It's a world of perfect health and regeneration. " (For the notebook, I'm aiming for more specific and fleshed-out images and narratives than generalities such as above.)
You can also use other folks' daydreams as a springboard to your own sketches and writing, as well. In fact, that's pretty much the fun part of having this be a group project. More on why this is a group project, I could have simply done the notebook solo, in future posts.
Join us, and spread the notebook to your soul kin: Make our destiny--it's in the cards. Send submissions to email@example.com from October 11, 2010 to December 23, 2010. (You can start on October 10, 2010 for The Bell.)
p.s. The notebook is definitely NOT this blog, so if you subscribe via email your inbox won't be deluged. This blog will be focused on topics related to inspiration, imagination, innovation, and infinite possibilities.
You can view contributions to the group notebook by visiting http://loteria.posterous.com
ART CREDITS: One re-imagining of da Vinci's notebook (not an actual spread from da Vinci works) by Dreimond; a page from Brion Gysin and William Burroughs' Third Mind cut-up notebook (I was blessed to see this great exhibition); the Bell loteria card; this one is an actual page from a Leonardo da Vinci notebook