Instead of predicting how life will end, take appreciation in living — absorbing the state of being present yet letting go, going with the flow.
The media shy and largely reclusive yet deeply insightful personality of Haruki Murakami is reflected through the world he creates in our minds through his literary mastery and story telling.
Often failing to understand, how a writer is able to draw us in and maintain our attention without it feeling like a page-turner but a genuine world built through worded imagination; Mr. Murakami is a true artist of modern literature.
Though he won’t be making an appearance at the Nobel Prize for Literature due to recent controversy, it’s worth appreciating the moment when he does make an appearance to share his wisdom. It’s worth paying attention to every word the author has to say about his creative-process.
Speaking about his work and influences on Murakami Radio broadcasted over Tokyo FM, he talked about how music is a huge influence when he writes and how he takes pleasure in listening to “covers”.
The most insightful revelation is him sharing, quite modestly, that he often doesn’t know how his stories will take shape and come to an end…
“It’s no fun writing a story if I already know how it’s going to end…because the very person who is writing does not know what happens, I think readers would also share the anticipation and enjoy the thrill while reading.” — Murakami.
“Enjoying the flow”,
As Murakami mentions, the take away is that once we start writing it’s almost like writing lyrics to a song; it’s our subconscious mind which takes over, guiding us as we immerse ourselves into the world we are creating. The deepest of our emotions living inside our memories form and take meaning, shaping and constructing a formation that we can resemble.
Like sculpting, it evolves as the process becomes more enjoyable and taking pleasure in the art of creating; “mastering the flow” — going with the flow.
Truly letting go of control, and giving in — in a meditative state.
Allowing the flow to take control, as the tools required to reflect are already nested within our minds; all it takes is letting go of the control and letting our sense guide us into shaping a story out of sentences.
“Musical Covers and Interpretations”,
An artist is aware that their work, as personal as it may be, is not theirs to hold on to once its shared with the world; it creates a meaning of its own, embodying the many values and interpretations through the shapes it moulds into as it evolves over time — remaining timeless for generations to come along and form a relationship with it of their own.
It cannot be dictated, it cannot be controlled.
Creativity, where thoughts transcend speech.
An emergence of brilliance without verbal expression.
“Hurt”, Johnny Cash’s final song was in-fact a cover of Nine Inch Nail’s Trent Reznor; whilst the song gained popularity through Mr. Cash’s cover, many even criticised Trent Reznor for “ruining Johnny Cash’s song” — without ever realising it was Reznor who wrote the song in the first place, in his bedroom when he himself was in a pretty dark place 20 or so years ago.
When asked how he felt about Cash’s version, he simply had this to say…
“…when I heard it, it just really wasn’t my song anymore”
Revealing to be the true artistry and the magic of creating a piece of art which is deeply personal and have the courage to share it with the world, was an emotion both Johnny Cash and Trent Reznor realised and shared.
A song both could relate to and find their own emotions associated with it. In doing so, setting the exemplary testament to authentic artistry and the universal connection; “Hurt” would go on to inspire generations to come.
Much like any other audience member would, they would listen to the song and associate their own meaning with it; rather than take the artist’s approach to viewing how it was meant to be presented.
It’s a pleasure that Murakami too seems to appreciate and understand, that the process must be as enjoyable for the reader as it is for the writer; if not it falls short of serving it’s purpose — establishing a universal connection.
Universal creative-magic happens when an artist is able to apply their own flavour to an already majestic piece of work, below are two of my favourites.
Thank you for reading.