A personal note from Seymour founder,

Melissa Unger

 

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.

 

As an only child, imagination was a huge part of my life. As I was growing up, both my parents continually provided me with opportunities to experience art and creativity of all disciplines. As an adult, I have always worked in creative fields, and yet it took me over 20 years to find the passion that changed my life.

 

I finally found my way to it by quieting my rational mind and letting my subconscious lead for a change.

 

A few years ago, on a lark, I sat down to write a novel.  I really don’t know what drove me to do it. I had no idea at all what the book would be about, or if I could even write a book. I just had one sentence in my head that kept coming back again and again, so one day I put it to 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. Yeah, 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. In other words, 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 in a quiet space, read the last paragraph I had written and then just pick up where I had left off and keep writing until it felt natural to stop; sometimes it was an hour, sometimes it was 8 hours.

 

I tried to explain the sensation to a friend once, 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.  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. It was a frightening, invigorating, strange, amazing, weird, life-altering experience.

 

The next day he emailed me a television interview of the acclaimed French author Patrick Mondiano. When asked how he wrote, he described my experience, verbatim. I knew in that instant that I had experienced genuine creativity, the elusive ‘flow’. I had been fortunate enough to accidentally tap into what I believe is an innate source of creativity that exists in us all.

 

When I sat down to write that book, I wasn’t held back by fear, or other typical blocks. Because I wasn’t a ‘real writer’ nor did I yearn to be: I had nothing to lose so everything just flowed out untainted by my critical conscious mind. That’s what keeps most of us from trying: We’re worried we’ll fail. And by worrying about this potential loss, we’re missing out on our greatest chance at true happiness.

 

I hope to encourage you to express yourself creatively in a manner unhindered by any conscious boundaries or codes. Good or bad is not the question, authenticity is.  I believe our true voice can be found in anything in which we lose ourselves and something other than our conscious minds, fills in the blanks: from art, to music, to scientific innovation, to baking a pie, to planting a garden.

 

I know this isn’t big news, I don’t purport to put forth any new or groundbreaking philosophical ideas.  My aim is simply to motivate you 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. Now, to be very clear: I am not seeking to demonize technology, I embrace it and think that it is a crucial component of our intellectual progress, all I am asking is that you take as much time to look inside yourself, as you do outside yourself.

 

Through Seymour and our projects, I hope to inspire you to tap into your imagination, explore your subconscious and to shout your soul through your fingertips.

 

What I felt writing those pages, was the nearest to a state of grace that I have experienced in my lifetime and I wish that experience for everyone.

 

 

-Melissa Unger

 

To learn more about Melissa’s professional background, please click here.