Many of the stories I love the most descended from either Twin Peaks or Blade Runner. I love everything about the worlds in both. And, Twin Peaks was my gateway drug to David Lynch, the famous painter/filmmaker/transcendental meditation evangelist. If you’re familiar with David Lynch’s catalog (Twin Peaks, Eraserhead, Mulholland Drive, Blue Velvet), you’d think a trip into his mind would be terrifying. However, I found Lynch’s audiobook on creativity and meditation to be nothing but comforting and encouraging.
In Catching the Big Fish, which Lynch himself reads (he sounds so nice and middle American), the author provides a little bit of his own backstory, a few anecdotes from his more famous movies, and a lot on the creative process and how important transcendental meditation (TM) is to it. At the time of the original edition’s writing, Lynch claimed he hadn’t missed a day of meditation in over thirty years. He credits TM with improving his quality of life and greatly expanding what he can do creatively. The title of the book refers to his idea (which is an old idea) that “if you want to catch little fish, you can stay in the shallow water. But if you want to catch the big fish, you’ve got to go deeper.” Finally, Lynch had some surprising takes on leaving film and moving to digital video (in the mid-oughts he was excited about leaving film behind and recognized that we’d move to smaller screens but better sound).
My major takeaways as a creative person:
- You don’t need anger and drama in your life to create. You need clarity to create. Anger and drama get in the way; they don’t help you.
- Much of his work starts with an idea or an image. Everything has to come from that idea or image. You measure everything by whether it harmonizes with that original idea or image.
- I’ve never been much of a film student, although I do love movies. Lynch’s short explanation of film being a visual language and his comparison of film to music was helpful to me in understanding both mediums. It made me think a lot about my own writing style and voice and how it should change depending on the story.
- I need to give The Upanishads another read because a lot of what Lynch quotes resonates with me.
Listen to this audiobook if you’re into David Lynch or if you’re a creative type.