Much Love Monday

Last week, I rediscovered an artist's blog by the name of At Swim Two Birds, which featured the tree in the photo below, a tapestry now belonging to the MET. It is called The Tree of Life, but I am thinking about the tree of plenty, and how it relates to the kind of creativity needed to get good work done.
There are so many theories about what it takes to find inspiration. I read an article this week positing that one can get creative just by being boring (via), hmmm. There's also a new book out about the varying cognitive techniques to get smarter, be more productive.
But I am beginning to think a lot of problems in this world are caused by working too hard to get solutions before they are due. Think of all those people beleaguered by work who spread that oppressive atmosphere to others. What happens to me occasionally is that I read too much too fast because I get impatient with my progress, then my mind is awash with ideas, making it near impossible to harvest anything from them.
This brings to mind that part of Ovid's Metamorphosis that recounts the demise of Orpheus - that composite character, part man, part myth. He sang so beautifully that not even the trees lashed out at him, though they were servants to the god he'd spurned. But the jealous, wild Maenads did attack, and in a very bizarre scene, they took his life. Ovid then has them being turned into trees as punishment for their terrible act. Their thrashing legs were rooted deep into the ground, and their flailing limbs hardened into static bark. I think all that crazy work is like that scene. Only when we are calm and orderly do we hear the music of the muse. 
With regards to how we come upon ideas, the philosopher Pierre Hadot suggests that there are two general methods: the Promethean and Orphic. Prometheus broke the rules and took scientific advance by force. Orpheus reaches the secrets of nature through the process of progressive revelation.
The idea I seem to be working on here, and in the previous post, is that the quest for science or creativity is all very fine and dandy, but the method may determine the quality of the outcome.
When we are calm, we are surrounded by the tree of plenty, and see more than enough ideas that we can pick from. When we are nervous, we take up tills and hoes (and other agricultural instruments abandoned by the oxen when they heard the crazy Maenads approaching), and work by force.
Where would you like to see a tree of plenty this week? And have you guessed what I love this Much Love Monday? Yes, blooming abundance, harmony.
If you need some songs to help you whistle while you work - à la Orpheus - may I suggest the music links I discovered this weekend: a jazz "goat rodeo session" with Yo-Yo Ma; Bach to download; Vosotros, a site presenting the contemporary music of various artists.

Elements: needlework, retroframe: minitoko;
doilies, gingham, manila: pugly pixel.