What is Genius?

A friend recently e-mailed me a thought-provoking presentation from Elizabeth Gilbert, the author of "Eat, Pray, Love" that lead me to write the following. Listen to the presentation first (click on the tan word above), so the following makes more sense. Or will it?

Interesting presentation. I am normally a rationale, realistic, logical (I think!) person, but I truly do believe that my ancestors work through my fingers to help me create my artwork. I rarely spend a lot of time (any time, really) thinking about what I will create. I simply say to my muse/universe that I would like to make a figurine, or plate, or tile piece, or goddess. Then I get the bag of clay, cut off a piece that approximates the size of artwork that might work, and then I look at the clay, trance-out, dive into the clay (in my mind, of course). Very soon, I receive - from somewhere - how I should proceed. Either roll it out and see lines and shapes in the clay and incise it there, etc. I do not draw a picture first. I do not imagine what colors the finished project will be - I throw glaze on and mix, layer, paint wherever my fingers lead. Almost all of my work is freehand, non-prethought. It makes for a liberating, exciting experience. And I thank my ancestors for inspiration.

But I don't believe in fairies (well, there might be a few of them . . . )

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