I thought of David Lynch and his book, Catching the Big Fish, when I read a particular poem by Pablo Neruda in The Sea and the Bells. Both deal with the search for illumination; finding and clarifying a creative idea.
In this video David answers a question about his creative process, describing where ideas come from and how they coalesce into a finished product: David Lynch: ‘Ideas Are Like Fish.’ He says ideas are like fish and the deeper you go the more powerful, abstract and beautiful they are. Your desire for an idea is like a bait on a hook. When you catch one, others get attracted to it. Lynch sometimes gets a part of an idea and others come along. He writes them down. He advises that you have to stay true to the initial idea as it begins to form, even in ways you may not have anticipated, until it all comes together and you get it right. He describes how a script for a film can come about in this way.
The last line-stanza in Neruda’s poem uses the same idea, described here as sitting on the rim of a well of darkness fishing for fallen light.
Talk about transcending and patiently waiting to catch the big fish, an idea that will illuminate the mind and inform a work of art!
Here is that poem by Pablo Neruda in The Sea and the Bells (pp. 82/83):
Si cada día
dentro de cada noche,
hay un pozo
donde la claridad está encerrada.
Hay que sentarse a la orilla
del pozo de la sombra
y pescar luz caída
If each day falls
inside each night,
there exists a well
where clarity is imprisoned.
We need to sit on the rim
of the well of darkness
and fish for fallen light
Here is my tanka inspired by David Lynch and Pablo Neruda:
Fishing For Fallen Light
Catching the big fish
will illuminate the mind
and inform the work
Look within to find the light
ideas are swimming there
More information on David Lynch and his book:
This audio book review provides a clear synopsis of David’s book and the ideas expressed in it. See Inspiring excerpts – David Lynch: Catching the Big Fish – Meditation, Consciousness, and Creativity, which lists quotes by topic posted on StillnessSpeaks.com. You can listen to Catching the Big Fish (FULL AUDIOBOOK) on YouTube. Excerpts by topic can be found on YouTube, for example, the notion of suffering to create.
David Lynch says meditation has allowed him to remove stress and access deeper more beautiful ideas he falls in love with and translates into film, painting, sculpture or music. In this talk filmmaker David Lynch describes his experience of the creative process in the light of his practice of Transcendental Meditation at the Majestic Theater in Boston. He says, “It’s a great thing for the filmmaker.”
Tags: catching ideas, Catching the Big Fish, clarifying an idea, creating art, creating poetry, creative idea, creative process, creativity, David Lynch, day and night, fishing metaphor, initial idea, intuition, light and dark, looking for illumination, pablo neruda, quotes by topic, spanish poet, spanish to english, tanka, the sea and the bells, translation, well of darkness