Thoughts on “impressionistic descriptions” – a seeking of inspiration

There is something which I call “impressionistic descriptions”.  I compare it to impressionistic painting where the painter paints what they see at the moment, and usually quickly.  Frankly, that is how I write most of what is in this blog.  In some respects, one could say that most of the articles in this blog are “paintings” of a situation or condition but using words and description instead of paint.


Writing is a way of describing.  But what is the source of this description?  Where does it originate from?  I would say that my descriptions begin from one of these things:

  • An observation.
  • An experience.
  • A thought.
  • A continuation or elaboration of previous thoughts.
  • A feeling.
  • A sense or “gut feeling”.  This can be quite vague at times, almost imperceptible.  But, in the process of description, one can sometimes discover what the sense is about.
  • A previous description.  Its not uncommon that, once a description begins, it becomes a source for other reactions and descriptions: one description leading to another. This can go on and on. In fact, many articles in this blog are just that, one description leading to another leading to another and so on.

Basically, descriptions are a reaction to something.  There seems to be a process in this reaction:

  1. Something happens
  2. This prompts a reaction
  3. The reaction cannot be reacted to properly and interpreted
  4. Description becomes a means to interpret it so it can be reacted to properly

What this shows is that descriptions reveal a failure of association, or “disconnect”, between reaction and mind.  By description an association, or connection, is established between the reaction and the mind.  The reaction is then interpreted so it can be “grasped” by the mind.  This shows that many reactions are “forgotten”, or disregarded, simply because they are not interpreted or reacted to and, as a result, no connection is made.  They end up lying dormant in the depths of our mind.  Oftentimes, in “impressionistic descriptions”, these forgotten reactions are brought up and revealed.


I believe that “impressionistic descriptions” is a form of artistic ability, much like painting, drawing, sculpture, etc.  In that way, it is a form of artistic expression.  Because it is artistic this means that it often requires an innate ability, though it can be learned and developed to some extent.

Because its a form of artistic expression is that it requires something to be expressed.  Personally, I believe that many people aren’t good at anything artistic not because of ability but because they have nothing to express.  A person must have something to express!  Of course, what is being expressed, exactly, is often not something even the artist is aware of nor will ever be aware of.  What is expressed is often unclear and a mystery.

For me, at least, I tend to think that what is expressed is not an “idea”, a “point”, a “belief”, or anything like that.  It seems that the need to express is a form of relating with the world for some people.  In other words, artistic expression describes a relationship, not a thing to be expressed.  It is an act, a doing, and that is what is important.  It is also something that seems unique for some people.  Not everyone finds a relationship with the world by expression.


I often describe “impressionistic descriptions” as writing “off the top of my head”.  This means that I am “writing as it happens”.  This means that there has to be something like a rhythm developed.  The rhythm allows things to flow out easily and often without thought . . . it just happens, and often quickly.  Sometimes its a struggle to keep up.

Two forms of rhythm have to be developed:

  1. Rhythm in thought.  The thought that appears through writing must “flow out”.  If one has to “think about it” then the rhythm has been lost.  My best writing, I think, happens when it flows out effortlessly.
  2. Rhythm in writing.  One must become so established in writing that it “just happens”.  This means that a person must develop a personal style.

Both of these rhythms take time and practice to develop.

One could say that developing rhythm is one of the artistic attributes seen in “impressionistic descriptions”.  I see several important qualities it creates:

  • A beat
  • A movement
  • A form
  • A style
  • Its ability to “draw out” ones thought

In some respects, its like poetry but with a very descriptive quality.  Much of the poetic rhythm in “impressionistic descriptions”, though, is not conveyed to the reader in the writing.  For me, the poetic rhythm of “impressionistic descriptions” is felt as an interior experience by the person writing.  This fact shows an important quality:  that “impressionistic descriptions” is written for the person writing, not for anyone else . . . it is a personal act.  In this way, one is really describing things to oneself.  I believe that this is very important and critical.


“Form” refers to the description having qualities such as:

  • A unity.  This means that there is wholeness in the description.
  • A mass.  This means that the description has meaning and value, which gives it a weight.
  • A shape.  This means that the description has a pattern and direction.
  • A style.  This means that the description is unique.

For the description to be successful the description cannot be fragmented individual thoughts.  A person must at least sense the description as describing something as a whole.  In many cases, the “form” develops as the writing goes.

To me, the “form” is really something a person feels.  This is then conveyed through the description.  I often don’t consider an article completed until I sense that the “form” is established.


There are several things that one must do before one begins:

  1. Be aware that, in reality, one is actually dumb and doesn’t really know what’s going on.
  2. Have no pre-determined motive.
  3. Feel a desire to express.
  4. Seek to discover things for oneself, not for others.
  5. Find the “something” the moves or affects you.

As for the actual process, it seems that it often goes something like this:

  1. Follow the “something” with ones mind. 
  2. Write what comes to you and let the thoughts flow out without hindrance.
  3. Establish thought and writing rhythm.
  4. Watch for the “form” and see it develop.
  5. As one writes, see the truth in what you write as it comes out.  Its very important that your mind sees a “truth” or meaning in what is written.  If one does not do this then “impressionistic description” is as pointless as fishing in a sand dune.
  6. Feel a satisfaction in the expression.  I tend to think that the process of “impressionistic descriptions” are never completed until you feel a satisfaction in doing it.  It is my belief that a “genuine satisfaction” is not in the idea, or what was written, but in the act of expression . . . there is a joy in doing.

In the end, what is created can be described as “thoughts without thought” or “ideas without an idea” . . . they just “happen” and as if appear out of nowhere.

I should point out that I generally do not write these articles in one sitting.  It can take days, weeks, months, and even years, to finish an article.  Typically, I start by finding the “something” which prompts me to write.  It usually exhausts itself out after awhile so I quit writing.  I then don’t take up writing on it again until I feel the “something” again.  This could be a long time.  I have found that I cannot write unless I feel the “something”, nor do I try!  This shows that “impressionistic descriptions” is a reaction to the “something”.  That is how important it is.  The reason why the “something” is so important is that it reveals something . . .


“Impressionistic descriptions” seem to reveal that there is another mind within ones self.  It as if “thinks on its own”, independent of you, and which you are unaware of.  In many ways, I find it has qualities that are lacking, missing, or of a different nature than in our normal conscious mind.  This includes things such as:

  • Awareness
  • Insight
  • Intuition
  • Knowledge
  • Wisdom

Personally, I think it knows more than me (that is, my conscious mind).


What leads “impressionistic descriptions” is, in actuality, intuition or, perhaps, “gut feeling”.  In many ways, “impressionistic descriptions” is the creation of intuition.  It is not created by logic, analysis, thought, and such.  If one “thinks about it” then its not “impressionistic descriptions” but, rather, thought.

One could say that intuition is the conscious minds sense of the “other mind”.  As a result of this, by following the sense of intuition the conscious mind finds the “other mind”.  This is why the ability to follow ones intuition is critical in “impressionistic descriptions”.

The following of intuition seems to entail a number of things, such as:

  • An “inner sense” or an ability to sense something “within oneself”.
  • A humility.  The ability to be aware that ones conscious mind doesn’t know everything.
  • A desire to look and inquire deep within.
  • An ability to interpret.
  • The ability to find use in the intuition.

I have always thought that there are three main difficulties in intuition:

  1. Sensing intuition.
  2. Interpreting intuition.
  3. Utilizing intuition.

All these pose their unique problems and dilemma’s.


I tend to believe that the more a person relies on established ways of doing things, thinking, points of view, etc. the more they are hampered and the less revealing they are.  In my opinion, if a person relies on established ways then they are really just imitating.  In actuality, most people are imitating.  They are imitating or, rather, replicating these things:

  • Information or knowledge
  • Patterns of thinking

Imitation, used in a new way, gives the illusion of something new and unique but its really not.  One could say that most things are restatements or saying the same thing, but in a new way.  Its easy to get deceived by this.

It seems, to me, that in “impressionistic descriptions” one needs to seek to find a uniqueness in what one does and not just imitate.  The quality of uniqueness is something that should always be sought for.  My experience, though, is that finding uniqueness is not as easy as it sounds, making it an achievement, and is not as prevalent as one may think.  


“Impressionistic descriptions” need great honesty to work.  But I have found that being honest with ones self is not that easy . . . its very hard.  In some respects, honesty is like tearing off ones clothes layer by layer.  In other words, to truly be honest is like stripping yourself naked.  This tends to create a reaction of hesitancy and reluctance.  This often appears in “impressionistic descriptions” and can bring it to a halt.

Overcoming the sense of nakedness caused by honesty is very critical.  In many ways, the purpose of “impressionistic descriptions” is to “lay oneself bare” and to make one naked.  Its critical to overcome it.  There seems to be stages in this:

  1. Admitting things to ones self
  2. Coming to terms with these things
  3. Accepting ones relationship with these things 
  4. Stepping into the unknown . . . being naked

To become naked is very much like stepping into the unknown.  One is absolutely bare and vulnerable . . . what will one do and what will happen?

Another thing that makes honesty difficult is that it means that you have to accept things that may be difficult to accept.  Personally, I think most people “twist” their logic and points of view to make them “acceptable”.  In this way, they are distorting what they think or view things.  The need to accept is very critical in “impressionistic descriptions”.  If all a person is going to do is make things sound acceptable then its worthless to do.

Things that are difficult to accept include:

  • Aspects about ourselves
  • Aspects of how we view others
  • Aspects of how we view situations
  • Aspects of what we believe

I tend to believe that one of the great values of “impressionistic descriptions” is that they bring these things out.  They can often initiate and create conflict and dilemma’s.  This makes one look even deeper into oneself.  Eventually, one finds that they are not what they think they are.  In this way, “impressionistic descriptions” can become a means of self discovery.  It also forces us to accept certain things and to develop more of a sense of acceptance and understanding.  


Ulterior motives tend to cloud the “impressionistic description” process. Examples include:

  • Don’t care what others think
  • Don’t seek money with it
  • Don’t seek or care about acknowledgement, praise, or approval

In short, its important to do things for ones self alone, for that is what its for.


“Impressionistic descriptions” is really a form of seeking inspiration.  I would describe inspiration as a “deepening of awareness”.  In effect, one uses “impressionistic description” as a means to find that “other mind” mentioned above.  This
“other mind” is the source of inspiration.  In this way, we can see that ones normal conscious is a hindrance to inspiration.  One must “turn away” from it.  “Impressionistic descriptions” is a means of “turning away” from the conscious mind and is done a number of ways:

  • By making the conscious mind dumb and without motives
  • The process of “impressionistic descriptions” brings up the “other mind”
  • Becoming aware of what the “other mind” says
  • Feeling satisfaction in expression

In many ways, inspiration could also be described as the transformation of the normal conscious mind with the qualities of the “other mind”.

I do not believe inspiration is making the conscious and “other mind” one mind.  To me, they are distinctly different and separate and will always be that way, almost as if they are two separate organs in the body.  In some respects, in inspiration we are trying to get the two minds to better associate with one another instead of being far apart, as they usually are.  This, it seems to me, is a continuous process that never ends.

Copyright by Mike Michelsen

This entry was posted in Art, artistic expression, and things related with it, Existence, Awareness, Beingness, Consciousness, Conceptionism, and such, Inspiration, free association, and intuition, Poesy - seeking a state of mind, Stuff involving me and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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