Wow. Work. It’s been eating time and thought and attention in a big way. I am tired, but grateful. This gig has potential: it’s really pushing me in ways that fuel my growth. I am building patience, calm, attention, humility. I am learning new-to-me culture, language, traditions. I am again supporting what feels like good in the world by supporting those doing the feet-on-the-ground work of building community, of supporting the less-fortunate, of finding their greater callings. I still feel new and outsider-y, but less so each and every day. The intensity of activity at work makes it easy for me to sustain activity or collapse well when I am not at work, which is serving me as I start into web design tools and basic programming classes (as well as intro to computing *gigglesnort*). Anyhow, I do want to see you all, and will whenever time, energy, and in-the-moment inclination allow it, but I may also have my head in a book, or a project, or (who knows…) for a while.
Our natural minds are brilliant sorting boxes, making connections between things and labeling them accordingly as a way to understand our world. We do this as a way of gaining knowledge, but default to the practice as a shortcut, a way to assume we know more than we do about a thing, about a person, about a neighborhood, about ourselves than we do.
If we are, as Buddhist monk, philosopher, teacher (oh! there are some labels for you!), Thich Nhat Hanh “…here to awaken from the illusion of our separateness,” then our labels become an impediment, become disabling. Our work, then, is to see beyond labels, and beyond the walls we build around categories, and to see even beyond our self-labels.
Pondering my long-held identity as an artist, it occurred to me that it is a way to view myself as “special” – or at least more special than “not-artists.” It is like we are all moths in a box, each certain we are the rarest butterfly. And in this certainty, we overlook the subtle beauty of moths, intricate in pattern and color and shape.
Given this context, I explored rejecting the label, and found myself comfortable in doing so. I do not intend giving up living creatively, imagining things, bringing them into existence. However, I may lose the label itself as non-useful, or use it as a way to explore whether I have let the label “artist”and its opposite get in the way of true connection and understanding of myself and of others.
(aka: fodder for future posts)
Backdate post of Inktober gallery
Connection to the world through drawing it (or writing detailed descriptions or…)
Art as the activity rather than artist as the identity, Art-making, not Artist
The beauty of the lamps hanging in the coffee shop across the street as viewed from my kitchen window
The concept of creative inspiration as a stranger we meet on the road, with whom we choose to engage or not
“Artist” as a way of seeing and being as much as actively creating
Mailboxes for the port0lets
The idea that the desire for validation, for me, as a poor substitute for what I really want: collaborative, creative communication.