Why We Create

The antigravity room

I would invent a pill that blocks memory formation for the next two hours. No sensory distortion whatsoever, just two memory-free hours.

Then I would ask people to enter this room here, the messy one, strewn with paints and pens, paper and clay, drums, trumpets, and twine and tell them: go nuts. Make, make, make. No one will read what you write, hear what you sing, so really, feel free to go crazy.

And after two hours, they would stagger from the room, wearied by an effort of which they have no recollection. “I’m here for the test,” they’d say.

“The test is already complete,” I’d say with a grin. I’d guide them back into the messy room. “Have a look at what you made.”

And they would reply, “I didn’t make this. I wouldn’t even know how to make this. Besides, it’s all wrong. It’s formal, and I prefer abstract. It’s hopeful, and I’m a cynic. Anyhow, I’ve never so much as taken a class in painting, so. No. No way, it’s not me. Nice try though! So when do we start the test?”

Memory, like gravity, has a tendency to pull us to the earth.