Trying to grow more time for my art is one of the motivations for this blog. That might seem counter intuitive at first; I’m wasting time writing this instead of doing art! But, I’ve always worked better when there is a bit of pressure, not too much mind you, but a bit of external commitment can get me going.
Where are all the great collaborative art projects then ? They are percolating through my brain, but around here everything takes time and must compete for its spot in the lineup. Three homeschooled children are usually priority number one, and then there is the garden; the fall compost heap that is supposed to be hot and cooking, is just sitting there mocking me. Remedial action will have to be taken this weekend. Then there is food, and endless dishes to do, and an attempt at keeping a handle on the mess. Excuses, excuses !! However, we strive for balance, and while I’m trying to give art more weight, I don’t want to throw other things off. Hopefully, I’ll have something to share soon.
I’ll end with this this poem by a favourite author. While it appeals to my romantic idea of an artist, I’m not sure it’s the path to quiet splendor that I’m looking for.
Advice to Myself by Louise Erdrich
Leave the dishes.
Let the celery rot in the bottom drawer of the refrigerator
and an earthen scum harden on the kitchen floor.
Leave the black crumbs in the bottom of the toaster.
Throw the cracked bowl out and don’t patch the cup.
Don’t patch anything. Don’t mend. Buy safety pins.
Don’t even sew on a button.
Let the wind have its way, then the earth
that invades as dust and then the dead
foaming up in gray rolls underneath the couch.
Talk to them. Tell them they are welcome.
Don’t keep all the pieces of the puzzles
or the doll’s tiny shoes in pairs, don’t worry
who uses whose toothbrush or if anything
matches, at all.
Except one word to another. Or a thought.
Pursue the authentic-decide first
what is authentic,
then go after it with all your heart.
Your heart, that place
you don’t even think of cleaning out.
That closet stuffed with savage mementos.
Don’t sort the paper clips from screws from saved baby teeth
or worry if we’re all eating cereal for dinner
again. Don’t answer the telephone, ever,
or weep over anything at all that breaks.
Pink molds will grow within those sealed cartons
in the refrigerator. Accept new forms of life
and talk to the dead
who drift in though the screened windows, who collect
patiently on the tops of food jars and books.
Recycle the mail, don’t read it, don’t read anything
except what destroys
the insulation between yourself and your experience
or what pulls down or what strikes at or what shatters
this ruse you call necessity.