I accept my sudden paintings and music as personal proof that we can spend an entire lifetime without once tapping into our brain’s hidden universe.
I was already 59 when I first experienced the overwhelming compulsion of a sudden artistic output that erupted into my life.
Spontaneous paintings and piano compositions began pouring out of me in fantastical flows.
The eruption was especially astonishing because I have no study or training whatsoever in either painting or the piano, and throughout my life have never shown the slightest interest in either.
I do not draw, sketch or paint, and there has never been a piano in my house.
At the surface level I know absolutely nothing about painting or piano techniques.
Within the hidden universe of the brain, however, I clearly do know and I clearly do understand, all that I need to about how to paint and how to play the piano.
In my artwork this complex universe vibrates through a magical flow of jewel-like colors and joyful textures that well up from some secret place within.
I have been asked many times how this sudden “genius” is possible.
In response to such questions at my solo art shows in Japan, I have considered several explanations.
A writer since early childhood, I have always tapped into my innate creativity, not only via words, but also in my ability to live creatively.
I have spent the last two decades in a contemplative life deep in the mountains of Japan, where I have slowly and lovingly restored a 300-year-old minka by hand.
Over and over my creativity has been expressed in flexibility, resilience, tenacity, and an original approach to life’s many challenges.
So being creative is naturally what I am.
Has my particular and personal situation in Japan been a crucial factor in forging discovery of the brain’s hidden universe?
For example, as an accomplished writer and speaker in English, my day-to-day existence has been severely hampered by my inadequate Japanese language skills.
In Japan I am essentially illiterate rather than articulate and the experience has been humbling as well as instructive.
Such mental restrictions have forced me to continuously develop and deepen non-verbal skills just to survive at the most basic level.
I have become adept at picking up alternative clues in daily communication and I can sense energetic patterns in a variety of situations.
In addition, I feel I have been tempered by many years of significant cultural and personal trauma caused by very difficult Japanese family dynamics.
Unable to move freely at so many outward levels, I have had little choice but to greatly expand my inner resources.
Another possibility is the sudden awakening of savant-like skills.
Since my sudden artistic output in 2013 I have been categorized as a sudden savant, so genetic or ancestral memory may well count as the source of my astonishing new abilities.
Being a very mixed bag of ancestral genes, as I wrote in a previous blog post, I have a big source I can tap.
Yet I feel the sudden savant explanation does not take into account the importance that spirituality plays in how the brain works.
For instance, can sudden access to the brain’s hidden universe be triggered by a contemplative life and a conscious spiritual path?
I believe that each of us is not only creative, but also spiritual.
The importance we assign to this creativity and spirituality is what shapes our lives.
Where we focus our intention is where our energy goes.
And then there is the simple fact of getting old.
As brain cells deteriorate or become damaged by the aging process can new neural pathways form to compensate for the loss?
My sudden paintings and music attest to the incredible creative potential that can indeed be released as we mature.
As I move deeper into the crone phase of my woman’s life, is my sudden artistic output a gift for my old age?
The certainty of knowing that we can tap into the brain’s hidden universe at any point in our lives is enormously uplifting and a constant affirmation.
Looking forward in inward exploration, what other discoveries await?