The act of creation is in its very essence a translation: we translate the world, or more precisely our perception of the world into a piece of art, but this perception of the world is already itself a translation. We are all translators because we are all creators. Each time we open our eyes, hear a sound, touch an object, smell an odor or taste food we are translating our environment into feelings. Our whole body is continuously translating! Then these feelings, the raw material of our mind, are translated into concepts and words. This is when the artist will have to go further. His sensibility will allow him to find passion, logic, chaos and sometimes even a hidden diamond in this raw material; he will see the beauty and the tragedy of the world with particular intensity.

Then happens the next step in the act of creation: the externalization, which is a new translation, and probably the most difficult one, because imperfect by nature. When I compose music or when I write a text I know that the writer block doesn’t happen because I don’t have anything to say but because I know that whatever I write will be a pale representation of what I want to say, of what is in my mind. Craft is important, it allows us to be more precise, but even the old master won’t be able to translate his mind perfectly into his art. This is why art is a work of humility. When the artist understands that his art is always imprecise he will start letting the world speak for itself.

When a poet wants to write only about what he knows, what he understands and what he knows as being “right”, he limits the poem to his own human limits. On the contrary, the poet who doesn’t try to monopolize the language but who let the world speak through him allows something much bigger to come into his writing. The good poet is humble. He doesn’t try to achieve his own greatness; he let the greatness of the world transform him and his poem. When the poet begins to wonder if his work is good enough for him, if it demonstrates his worth, he has already lost sincerity.

Be humble,
and if you don’t have anything to say
let the silence be.

To live on the threshold is to live in a place in-between our inner self and the outer world. It is certainly not comfortable because it means to live in a state of uncertainty where everything can happen.

For the artist, to live on the threshold means to leave behind him all his certainties, to let the world jostle him. By doing so he will know and understand himself and the world in a different and more profound way. This state of in-betweeness must be accompanied by a constant curiosity and by an attitude of wonder, even in front of the simplest things.

The world is so extraordinary that we can’t even understand completely the smallest thing. The flower petal that I pick on the ground is more complex than the finest piece of machinery ever designed; even its existence is a mystery!
When an artist lives on this threshold he discovers his own smallness and his own greatness at the same time.