Life in a Straight Line

I (or, this blog) am/(is) in a quandary.  When I first started out (writing this blog), I guess I was a bit self-righteous… there would be no “hand-wringing”, or no “woe is me”, and for sure, no negativity on “my” blog.  Who wants to read about that?  But, as in all things, what you think the future holds and what you get can be two very different things.  My studio has been reduced to a small pile of oddly shaped cardboard boxes.  All taped up.  The room is empty.  NOTHING is happening in there.  So, while I am trying very hard to look on the positive side of things, it is hard to ignore the fact that my life has made an unforeseen turn.  It is what I choose to do about it that will matter from this point forward.

So, on that note (the life in a straight line part), here is the issue.  I consider myself to be a practicing artist.  And, I have been thinking hard about that word “practicing”…to me, that means that you “do it” in a constant, repetitive, ongoing way.   You show up, come to the table, you resolve the problems, meet the challenges: you make progress.  And, the results of your efforts are on the table or on the design wall.  Intentional.  Well thought-out.  ART.  You made it; no one else could have, at least, in not quite the same way.

This is very different from “practicing” at something.  This is work/art as a “practice”…something that is a significant and meaningful part of every single day.  It is a constant.  It is why your work changes, improves, grows.  Without the “practice”, there is no learning, no forward motion… NOTHING NEW.  Am I saying this “right”?  Do you get it?

Well, I do, and at the moment, I am not “practicing”, and, I am missing it.  What happens if one misses it for too long?  Can one get “it” back?  And, here is the key (I think)…the answer just might be “NO”…this “practice” might be an intangible that is so precious that one CAN lose it.  So, you, keep “practicing”.  (Maybe put in a few good strokes for me.)  I am not an optimist.  ALL good things do not come to those who wait.  I think they come to those who “do”… I am very truly working on that: there is just not much to see at the moment.  I admit, this is not an upbeat point of view.  But, it is an honest one…if anyone has any wise words, I am listening…

4 Replies to “Life in a Straight Line”

  1. Just consider this stretch in your life as a hiccup. You will never give up the “practice”. I know that because it is just so deeply engrained in you. When your move is completed you will be right back in the swing of the things again creating wonderful art. And be sure t keep up with your blogging so that we will know what you’re up to.

  2. I can relate to the frustrations of not being able to ‘practice’ your art. It has happened many times in my life for a variety of reasons but I always get back to it sooner or later. And, no you do not forget how to do it because we love it so much that it is part of our core. Whether we are ‘famous’ or not, what matters most to us is being able to DO it, – to ‘practice’ – the process of creating. Patience, I guess, is the word of the day – I tell myself that many times – until the time arrives to begin again . . . . and then I wonder why I doubted that I would be back to it. I guess we have to accept the side roads that life presents to us, travel them and then ultimately come back to the main road.

  3. Andrea, I don’t know if you can get “it” back when you don’t do “it ” for a while. It has happened to me in the past. However, what DOES happen , is that “it” comes back slightly altered and mostly for the good. Don’t despair. When you are more settled in your new place and space, you will find new shops, guilds, museums (and whatever else you need) to whet your appetite. I have no doubt that “it” will come back with a vengeance.

  4. I will share some wise words my aunt once wrote to me:

    “What does matter is having the incentive and desire to do the work, to move forward and allow the work to lead the way…
    …the process is like taking a walk in the woods and coming upon a Jack-in-the-Pulpit. Finding the JP is a by-product of the walking, it was not the intent. The walking, without any intent, produced something in addition. If I let go of the need to “find the JP”, the journey is lovely and exciting and will produce a process (walking, discovering) and may or may not produce anything else at this time.”

    This new adventure, while uncertain and certainly uncomfortable, is full of creative opportunies and processes to be had.

    You are one of the most creative people I know.
    Breathe. Give yourself permission to release the need to “practice” (for a time); Allow the door to open & walk through, knowing that you will continue to learn and grow, with an outpouring of exciting ideas to come.

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