Monday, July 18, 2011

Making Room for Inspiration

I have too many pairs of underwear.  I have two drawer’s worth, although I only wear the panties out of the top drawer.  The others are what I call my “Big Mommy” underwear, which I find don’t do too well with many of today’s styles, plus I was heavier when I bought them so many of them are pretty loose.    I never wear them, but they are still serviceable and some of them are cute, and the practical, German side of me has a hard time throwing them out when they still have life left in them – it seems so wasteful.  (Though the fact that they are equally useless while they languish in undergarment limbo has not escaped me.)  Normally I give clothes I don’t wear away, but…no need to explain any further on that one! 

 So here I sit, with a drawer stuffed with piles of still serviceable, but unused panties that take up space in my drawers and sadly are no longer fulfilling their underwear destiny.  It is, somehow for me, quite a dilemma, although the solution might seem obvious to others – but we humans do tend to complicate things, don’t we?

It seems like it is embedded in our genes - this tendency to accumulate things we don’t need or use.  All of us do it in some form or another – either material objects, or psychic stuff, or some combination of both.  When I see piles of stuff everywhere - even tools that I use, it makes me feel crabby, frustrated, or want to get up and clean instead of create, or it makes me want to just leave.   It can also be impossible to work in a space if there is no – well, space there!  I actually like to not have too much stimulation when I am trying to create –  the feeling of air and light makes me feel open, free.   It helps my juices flow. 

I think the same is true for old stories and mental and emotional baggage, too.  It keeps us from being truly loving and intimate, from giving to others, from finding peace.  (Which can also interfere with true creativity.)  I have a theory that the accumulation of material objects is often an extension of the mental baggage we haul around, dragging us down and limiting our capacity to love.

At the same time, certain forms of creativity require materials – there’s no getting around it.  In my art, I require a good number of gadgets, threads,tools, fabrics…otherwise it makes it difficult to complete projects.  I need stuff to make stuff!  And by golly, I want it right at my fingertips when I need it or when an idea strikes – it can really kill a creative buzz if I have to stop and go to the store instead of diving right in.   And the beautiful fabrics and even the interesting tools can be a source of inspiration, too - the colors, the textures, the challenge of using something new can lead to all sorts of brilliant brainwaves. ( I sometimes wish I could dive into the fabric bin and live in the colors – does that sound weird?  Oh well, I prefer to call it imaginative – to-may-to, to-mah-to – whatever.)

 The point is, there has to be some equilibrium.  It’s not always easy to balance my free spirit and creative energy with my need for a neat, clear space in which to be productive.  That includes the spaces in my head, too.   I’m striving to prune back and weed out things I just don’t need, not just in my studio, but in my entire being.  Any old grievances or hurts – any sadness or injustices, I am right now, this moment, releasing to the universe.  I know the insidious little bastards will try to creep back in, but I’m simply not giving them my attention  - there is no space for them .  I’m filling myself instead with light, love and peace, and openness to whatever inspiration that might hit me.  I realize this is not a one-time deal, but a practice I have to do daily, maybe even hourly, but I am committed to doing it, not just for myself but for the people I care about.  They deserve the best of me, too.

Wow – that was super easy.  Now for the hard part – does anyone have any ideas for how to use old, but serviceable intimates?  No?  Well, I guess I’ll just toss them in the bin, then, with thanks for their brief, ( pun intended) but meaningful while it lasted, service.

Postscript 7/19:

Just wanted to let you know that I did throw out my languishing panties. I realize they are inanimate objects, but I thanked them for their service, and hoped they would decompose quickly. Maybe they can become the dirt that grows a flower or a tree - the possibilities are endless!