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10 May

psst…. I ran again this morning…only saying because this is sooo unusual. I feel so much better- usually I wait until the end of the day when I’m tired and ready for a glass of wine. So I am trying this new approach. The app is C25K – couch to 5k – and she tells me when to walk, when to jog…brilliant.

anyway… coffee in hand, I’m in my studio this morning needing to finish up my Green Man. It’s Rob’s birthday present, which is in a couple weeks. I originally set out to do a very simple piece- and as always, there is more in the wings than I expect. I was surprised at what showed up – I only saw the green man and the knot work border. It  says ‘you are love – you are loved’ around the circle, with a very fancy scroll/leafy background. These are the things that I do not see in the ‘planning’ stages. Which is why I suppose, I love to just start with a half-formed concept – because what I did not intend is often so lovely.

I was helping my daughter last night with a homework assignment- argumentative paper on overpopulation. Her main challenge is focusing- narrowing down such a broad topic to a very specific statement which she then can argue and to which she can propose a solution. She is a very creative type and kept coming up with new ideas, new realizations of what we are doing to our beautiful planet, and as the spirit took her and she got passionate about it, it became very difficult for her to niche down and limit herself to one narrow corridor of thought. ‘ There’s just so much to say about it…’ she sighed.

I mention this because I find in the ‘real’ world, one’s ability to be specific, set goals, have a plan, to niche down, to limit oneself – is expected and encouraged. But as I sit here, half in the ‘real’ world and half in the ‘other’ world, straddling both of my hemispheres, I am choosing to be influenced by something else. I am seeking, waiting for that which pulls me out of myself – that which allows me to see countless possibilities, infinite arrangements -the clamoring of the infinite for expression in finite. It’s such a dance- to be able to be ok with uncertainty, to allow overwhelm, to sit in complete wonder at ‘what is’ and to not want to change it, just to witness it. As artists, we are surrounded and influenced by our culture, and its attachment to ego and certainty. The two killers of creativity. As artists, we hold a position that is overlooked (by ourselves and by our society) in its importance. We hold the curtain back so that others may get a glimpse of that which is beyond- to build a bridge, to help others see what we see- to look with non-physical eyes at what exists beyond our limited perceptions. We allow infinity, mystery and uncertainty into this world. As Einstein is often paraphrased- you can’t solve a problem on the level it was created – it takes new ideas, fresh thought, and inspiration to bring something new into being. Part of my job with my students is to teach them that this uncertainty is a good thing; a necessary thing. That our culture and our souls desperately need inspiration – to be filled with fresh breath, to experience the mystery of life – in addition to our amazing ability to think, to limit and define. Both halves of our brains are necessary in the curiously human ability and purpose of endlessly creating  finite expressions of the infinite – whether an English paper, a decent cup of coffee or a work of art.


4 May

I am always looking around for inspiration- color, a bit of fabric, a flower, a poem. I even have this great little book The Pocket Muse by Monica Wood. It’s many pages of short ideas, quotes and images to jumpstart the right brain – great for those times when I’ve become too reasonable. Stuff like this:

‘There comes a point in any long piece of writing(or any project really) – and even in some short ones- where the writer loses faith in her ability to unwind the ball of yarn that has taken so long to tangle up in just the right way. Don’t quit on yourself. You might need a few weeks away from the piece to gain greater perspective, but the solution exists somewhere in your subconscious. Faith is exactly the right word for what you need right now. Keep going.’

And I wonder -really? Not every one else knows exactly what they are doing? They don’t always know the next step? Just like me. The poet David Whyte said that if you know the next step that you are going to take- you’re living someone else’s life. If you have absolutely no idea what your next step will be, you can be fully confident that you are firmly settled in your path. That’s nice -I’m right on track.

Anyway- inspiration. I find this absolutely amazing – this, Tangerine Tango – is the Pantone color of the year. Released every year, a new color is revealed, eagerly awaited by the fashion, design and many other industries. Google  ‘ Tangerine tango’ or ‘pantone color of the year’ and see what I mean. Talk about inspiration! Always fresh, and in this case uplifting- orange, color of change (appropriate for supposed ending of world), sacral chakra, creative expression. Who gets to pick this color of the year? I’m just glad someone does.

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