Showing an unfinished work allows live artists to get feedback and also a feel for how the presence of the audience influences the piece. Both things are valuable in continuing with the work. There needs to be something to be shown, some hypothesis, some prototype. Many things may feel dubious, but if they are done half-heartedly it is impossible to see how they work. Therefore, the performers need to commit to the performance as if it was the finished product while remaining open to the audience’s reaction. It’s a moment of vulnerability in which the achievement so far is presented wholeheartedly and yet as a question. Are we, as persons, ever finished? Like all living things, we are in constant transformation. At every single point along the process of our life we are work in progress. This is no reason to be unsure, but a consideration to allow us to be wholehearted in what we are at this moment in time yet humble.
Inspiration in its most literal sense means breathing in. The sense of receiving something also appears in its figurative sense, regarding the arousal of the mind, emotions or spirit that leads to discovery, creativity, flow or sacred revelation. Inspiration is not something that one can generate, but something that either comes, apparently out of the blue, or doesn’t. It is related to the non-logical right hemisphere of our brain and being inspired feels intense and harmonious at the same time. Although we can not make inspiration happen, we can cultivate a state of relaxed awareness in which we can best “hear” this inner voice that so clearly leads the way. Artists depend on inspiration, so they learn how it works and how to work with it. That’s part of an artistic practice. We can find our own artistic practices so that inspiration can find us more easily, in order to learn the language it speaks.