Saul Leiter on pleasant confusion

To be in a state of pleasant confusion sometimes can be very satisfying.

Saul Leiter, In No Great Hurry

Tonight, I finished up watching Tomas Leach’s In No Great Hurry*, a documentary on the late Saul Leiter (1923-2013), a painter and photographer whose work I’ve enjoyed discovering over the past few years. This quote from Leiter is one of many quips he blurts out throughout the beautiful film, but it more so than the others resonated with me.

I’ve found, mostly in retrospect, that some of the most creative and inspired periods of my life have come when I felt unsure about life and my creative pursuits. It’s difficult to feel secure and not riddled with anxiety in those moments, but I’ve found that when you can accept the ‘pleasant confusion,’ it’s freeing unlike anything else to just float around in an inspired abyss. Until now, I didn’t have such a succinct way to describe the state of mind, but Leiter summarized it beautifully.

*Worth noting ‘In No Great Hurry’ is available to watch for free on Kanopy, provided you have a valid library card.

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