Saturday, August 25, 2012

Got Fervor?

So from where does inspiration come?  It seems to come from everywhere, actually.  One can be inspired in the most unexpected ways and places, sometimes it’s inconvenient and sometimes kind of funny – like having to make a sketch of some idea in the dark theater in the middle of a movie - but I subscribe to the belief that it’s all out there coming from the one source, and we just have to be present and aware and it flows in.  Not that it matters, I’m just thrilled to be channeling all this creativity from the universe.   

At least, I think I am.

 I mean, I have so many ideas and plans right now, I don’t know how I can possibly get them all done - ever.  And yet I’m constantly bombarded by a barrage of inspiration…I dutifully sketch them, (not just because I don’t want to lose the vision but because I’m actually sort of an organized sort – not that you could tell that by my studio) add them to my list, and sometimes I’m so excited I abandon whatever I’m currently working on to begin something else because I’m totally compelled by it.  It’s both exhilarating and exhausting…naturally I love it!

But once again, I find myself questioning this drive to create and what it’s all about.  It’s by no means a secure investment of my time or money, but for some reason I just can’t seem to care, which naturally scares the stuffing out of my practical, responsible side.   Let’s be honest – it is a bit scary/ridiculous that I resent having to work at my part-time job because it interferes with my art. It’s only three days a week, for goodness sake!  But there you have it - I think I might need an intervention…

And BAM! Once again my examination of my own insanity leads to a new revelation. It seems I have to have a passion in my life, something that is almost – oh, who am I kidding - completely consuming.  Looking back I realize I was that way as a teacher too – couldn’t stop the ideas, had trouble walking away and if I had an idea, no matter how much work it was, I had to pursue it.  So why would it surprise me that I’m this way about art?  I guess because as I’ve already pointed out, I’m actually rather a practical gal (or at least there’s a practical element to my personality) and this particular passion is far from a sure thing, whereas a teaching career is mostly secure – at least it’s a regular paycheck one can count upon while it lasts.  Art is decidedly not, hence the fear factor.

I guess letting go of teaching allowed a new channel to open up, like the old saying of closing the door and opening a window.  Maybe it’s that way with everything, not just creativity.  Truly letting go of something – anger, hurt, resentment, fear – even security - will and can let something else in, and my guess is that whatever comes is going to be just fine. 

What if it really is all about accepting what is here and now?  Just being where one is and not looking for – anything, really.  It sounds good, but is it practical?  Perhaps it is, because whatever is, well -  is - and not accepting it won’t necessarily change it, it will just make the moment unpleasant.  So instead of fretting, I’m going to worry less and just do this  – pour all my energy into this moment, but be accepting of the (so rude!) interruptions of life, work and family.  That doesn’t mean I won’t take action or make changes, but hopefully it will come from the same place as the creativity instead of some ego-driven, anxiety-based, needy drive for fulfillment.

Whew – it sure sounds simple, but in all honesty, I’m not entirely sure I know what true acceptance feels like because I’m not sure I’ve ever truly experienced it.  I know I’ve seen it – most recently through my excellent mother’s example, and it looks – peaceful and lovely…like something worth pouring one’s energy into.  So here I go…check up with me later and see if I’m doing it, would you?  (Although you probably won’t need to as the universe seems to do a pretty good job of reminding me…)


Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Back at It

So I haven't posted all summer. Obviously.  Believe me, I haven't run out of things to say.  As if that were possible - there are far too many angles to creativity, not to mention my brain just never shuts up...nor, those who know me well might be thinking, do I. 
Once this was so, but it's no longer true, actually.  I have learned in the past year to ignore my shouting brain a great deal, and just be present.  It takes practice and discipline for me to do this, and I don't always succeed, but what a difference it's made in me and in my life - all good. 
Furthermore, what's interesting is the result: A marathon of ideas and creating.  I haven't been writing, but believe me, I've been busy.  It's quite distracting, really, the way I'm being constantly bombarded with ideas - I shut my eyes to go to sleep and pop, INCOMING!  I'm staring at a bunch of fabric which I would never normally be attracted to (almost finished with that one) night I stayed up half the night sketching half a dozen ideas that simply would not let me rest until I got them on paper, then went to my studio and picked out the fabric.   While waiting in a two-hour line with my son to get his learner's permit (Yikes!) I simply allowed the moment(s) to be. Suddenly into my head popped a design for a quilt. It was so powerful that I had to run outside to the 100+ degree car and sketch it immediately.
It's rather lovely, really, although I do find that I need to learn some moderation.  I now have a super long idea list. (Yeah, I make lists of future projects - what about it?!)  But the moderation part is difficult.  I was actually not excited to go on vacation this summer because I knew I wouldn't be able to create for a few weeks  (I got over it, but still -that's SICK!)   And when my son was away at band camp a week or so ago, I literally created all day every day - I mean sixteen, eighteen hour days, and I only stopped when I was cross-eyed from fatigue.   
I really don't want to stop working - it's so odd, really.  I mean, I love my family, and I do need desperately to clean my windows and yes, there are crunchy things under my feet when I walk around the house, not to mention the sever layers of dust in/on my car...(heavy sigh)how tedious.
It makes me wonder why.  Why am I so driven by this need to be constantly creating?  Why is this urge so strong that I literally resent having to go to the bathroom?  Surely it simply cannot sustain itself at this level.  (I'm not altogether sure I want it to, anyway - my house might be condemned, not to mention I might lose my family...all my friends...)  The irony is that it isn't at all a practical thing upon which to spend so much time and energy - I mean, by no means is there any assured return on my investment of time, but on the other hand -  it makes me feel so alive, so excited, so free.   Just thinking about it makes me want to go upstairs and get to work... 
I've tried to make myself a schedule, and I do force myself to drive to town and pick my son up from band practice (So demanding!), and I'm still fixing meals (occasionally) and doing laundry (half-assedly). I'm even planning a last summer fling for my family to float down the river this week, but beneath it all I still hear the siren call of my studio, my ideas, and my art, beckoning.  
I'm just going with it for the moment, allowing it to be what it is - a glorious cacophony of inventiveness and productivity.  And I do think in time it will even itself out, because after all I do have a practical, mature, realistic side, and I'm not entirely selfish and self-centered (I think).  But I must say, I do understand Jackson Pollack a lot better now. 

Here are some of the fruits of my summer labor:


Color Block II

Dreaming in African II