Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Thinking about thinking

Considering how regular my blog posts were in my 20s and the gradual decline from sometimes 4 posts per month to now 1 or 2 if I even remember that I keep a blog...  it occurs to me that perhaps I have less to say.  This second third of my life marks a shift in how I think and how much I need to express, I am sure of that.  Having pushed through to an era of introversion - making art, learning piano, and generally working from home because I no longer keep a job, I am unlikely to say anything to anyone for most of my day.  I wonder about this as my art-making is also speechless, and as process is so important, it is all about being and doing.  Contemplation feels more comfortable to me and the pressure to have answers and to fill silence with entertaining commentary hardly ever exists in my life anymore.

I may be in a period of my life when I am best as a sponge for knowledge and experience as I realize how much broader the possibilities of life expand.  In fact, I think that my past outspokenness may have been more a result of wanting to sound intelligent and take on importance so as not to somehow fall behind in the big American Way.  Now I see that the American Way is just one of so many ways and I am under no obligation to participate nor exaggerate myself in order to get ahead.  Get ahead of what?  Ah, see there it is.  The competitive edge is gone.

Competition.  Wanting to be better than others in as many ways.  If I fill space with my thoughts and expressions, then I am taking that space away from you.  I have it.  You don't.  Forgive me for being so elementary, but I do think that's how it started.  So in the last three years or so, I've focused acutely on the task of self awareness and self love (starting around chaos time, 2013, with the tragic loss of 2 family members).  I think I lacked self love mostly and my self awareness skills couldn't access why.  Many realizations have taken place in this time, and this one, competition, having a competitive compulsion, had mostly fallen to "me against me."  The "never enough" scenario simply does not recognize that one already possesses the abundance of life.

And so, here I am, the sponge.  I am spending more time than ever before as an observer, as a learner, as a practitioner, and as a creator.  My day begins with a walk or a run with my sweet dog, Siga.  I have breakfast and coffee.  A day may include such introspective and quiet activities such as working on my art, reading, working in my garden, practicing Spanish, practicing piano, baking bread, various small or big cooking projects, and yoga.  Sometimes I go hiking or to the art museum.  Then I usually end the day with my husband and my dog and a comfortable winding down to bed time.  As is evident, the need to push out into the world is no longer the driving force.  Now I soak up the substance of my dreams and become who I've always wanted to be.

Friday, August 12, 2016


Except for the mandatory ad at the beginning (skip it!), yes, it does feel good to watch this:

Must resist urge to dig out my calligraphy set from the 4th grade....

Watching ink on paper, watching a steady hand, watching color and line become a harmonious mark and composition... these things are so satisfying for me.  The same is true, for me, in watching someone run a race (I used to be a competitive runner and still run regularly) or just do something with elegant athleticism.  I also love to see the making of woven material and the construction of just about anything is a thrill.

Perhaps, at the very least, I should be making a stop action documentation of my cross stitch work.  I finished work on the left half with Christian's profile over this past week.  In beginning the profile of myself, I could document it each day and attempt to pull all the images together into a movie or slideshow.  Even if the documentation is only for myself, I will probably enjoy watching it more than I realize.
The stop action documentation of Progress Report, an artwork that I made in 2008 over 3 days' time, is still lovely to witness.