Response To Free Play Part Ii: The Work

1303 words - 6 pages

Perhaps one of the strongest parts of Free Play, "The Work" is a set of 6 chapters which manages to tap into the process of our creation. Compared to the last part, where we tapped into The Sources, this set is about the work in general. How are those sources being put to use? What are we doing them in our respective field? What processes do we go through as we begin to build up the foundation of our chosen craft?

Starting off with "Sex & Violins", we return to the use of Nachmanovitch's musical background to resonate with his points. In this chapter, he breaks down the feeling of playing the violin - from the sounds that it makes when being played, to the feelings exhibited by the one ...view middle of the document...

As he says himself, a few children may have grown to detest the piano or some other instrument after being subjected to repetitive and boring drills and exercises. He also takes a swipe at the idea of the saying "practice makes perfect", as it tends to set a benchmark that can be near impossible to reach. Perfection is quite a benchmark to aim for, but we'll never know of anyone who is capable of such a thing. Everyone tends to have flaws. Not everything will go your way, and life will always want to throw a curveball your way. Nachmanovitch even goes as far as offering very noteworthy tips for how to properly practice - shying away from what we know as the mundane and repetitive style, to a more free-form and open way to practice without a sense of repetition or banality. I can already attest to my obsession with perfection as a child: I wanted nothing less than the best, so I really pushed myself to reach a certain pinnacle where I would be able to excel with just enough effort. However, as I am today, I probably would've had different tastes or perhaps I would've found another calling. Remember those curveballs? Life tossed a few at me, and I took quite a few beans. I don't regret those moments, but I can't deny that I enjoy the fact that I was able to get over those moments and work on the things which I enjoyed, like writing.

"The Power of Limits" is where I pulled my above quote from, and it rings very true. Limits tend to make us a bit more creative with what we're offered, and I feel that it has helped in creation of many entertainment works. I cite video games because in the early days, game developers weren't blessed with endless budgets, photorealistic graphics, or powerful machines. All they had to rely on was imagination, innovation, and fun. A good example of this tenacity was expressed by a man named Gunpei Yokoi, a Nintendo employee who created many interesting devices for the company. In fact, he was partially responsible for its forays into video games. There's a story that explains Yokoi's vision for Nintendo's Game & Watch - he was a train to work, and noticed a salaryman fiddling with his LCD calculator just for fun. Yokoi then came up with the idea to use the cheap LCD technology to create games with, and it was a success which led to the further developments in portable gaming machines, and eventually smartphones. Nachmanovitch also notes of a few people who managed to create from almost nothing, like Stradivari making his most beautiful...

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