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A personal note from Seymour Projects founder Melissa Unger
In September of 2004, while on a walk around Paris, a single sentence popped into my head: Peter never ate. Insistent, it kept coming back again and again and in an effort to dissipate it I put it to paper.
The three words called out to me from the page. The short sentence was like some sort of motor, of magnet; I touched my pen back to the paper and let it lead me over the course of a few months, sentence by sentence, until I had written enough sentences to cover over 60 pages.
Now, what’s interesting about this is not that I wrote over 60 pages; it’s how I wrote those pages. I wrote them unconsciously. Yes, I know … that’s impossible. So, obviously I wasn’t literally unconscious, but I wasn’t using what I consider my conscious mind to write. I didn’t have a plot or outline, characters sketched or any idea at all what I was going to write about. I would just get myself to a quiet place, read the last paragraph I had written and then just pick up where I had left off and let the words flow through me until it felt natural to stop; sometimes it was an hour, sometimes it was 8 hours. I wrote about places I’d never been, people I’d never known, experiences I’d never had. My sense of time was completely altered when I was writing, a whole day could go by in what felt like an hour. Words gushed out of me like an open faucet.
Allowing something other than my rational mind lead me was a strange and invigorating experience. I’d try to explain the sensation to friends, and the closest I came to expressing it correctly was by saying that it felt like I was driving in a car on a dark road with no idea where I was or where I was going, but I had the headlights on and could just see enough to stay on the road. I would look ahead into the little illuminated patch of ground and keep inching forward, guided only by … what? It’s ineffable, everyone will have a different word for it … my imagination? my intuition?
I was overwhelmed by the experience. I had never considered that I had anything other than a rational ‘thinking’ mind, releasing my ‘grip’ was scary at first, but soon it became a sort of game and I eventually learned to alter my state of consciousness at will. Now in addition to being more creative than I have ever been, my stress levels have lowered and I have found lasting relief from my previously ever-present anxiety.
Through Seymour Projects, I hope to inspire you to allow yourself time for introspection and uninhibited creative expression so that you may enjoy this direct link to your subconscious. It will help guide you toward the true you that is buried underneath your unfounded fears and supposed limitations. With pen and paper as your tools, I invite you to explore your inner landscape. To take the time to ignite your inner spark. Scintilla animae as it’s called so poetically in Latin.
Unfortunately this amazing and unique spark that resides in you is hard to see if your eyes are always locked on the numbing glow of your computer screen. Don’t worry, I am not suggesting that you give up technology, all I am asking is that you take as much time to look inside yourself as you do outside yourself. Tap into your imagination, explore your subconscious and shout your soul through your fingertips.
The journey that began with the writing of those pages has changed my life immeasurably for the better. I now live a much more interesting existence, equal parts passionate and serene. I wish that experience for everyone.
ps: Seymour is named after my father. Since his death in September of 2000, I have wanted to create a meaningful project in his memory. He once said to me: “My greatest wish for you is that you find a job that you never need a vacation from.”
Seymour is that job.