Good morning, friends! This morning I’m struck by how many amazing things there are to create, and how hard it is for me to corral the time necessary to get to them. Some people manage their lives much better than I can: they play in a jazz band on weekends, write a book a year, AND work their day jobs as astrophysicists. That’s not me… but that’s okay. I am very, very lucky to be in a position where I don’t have to go to a day job (though everything surrounding that statement warrants a post in itself, and may get one, as I grow my way into and through it), so I have the freedom to order my days at will.
I may not have an occupation, but I have a definite vocation, which I’m beginning to embrace fully AS vocation, with a capital “V”, and not simply as something I like to do in my spare time. Everything else is what I do in my spare time. I’m only just now forming a definition of said vocation, but in essence it is this: the pursuit of conscious personal growth, and I bring it to life by setting my mind, almost constantly, on the study of it, the practice of it, and the expression of it. I study it by reading the books that serendipitously appear just when I’m ready for them; practice it by paying attention to all the clues my subconscious sends me, particularly in dreams but in every other aspect of daily life as well, and then writing it all down; and express it through my art, which is–to my great delight–varied and broad. I am not a master at anything, but I’ve accepted that fact and am learning to pour myself wholespiritedly into whatever I’m doing without hyperfocusing on end results.
In my last post I complained about frosting my buddha (which makes me smile, because it sounds like an euphemism for something else, which would make it the least thing to complain about), but yesterday, after I blended another batch of paper pulp, adding the flour, adding the glue, stirring it to the right consistency, and after I found just the right tool for spreading it (a small, truncated rubber spatula, a baby one, hidden in the back of the gadget drawer), and after I discovered that I got a better result by using my fingers after all, I worked the pulp onto the armature and noticed, suddenly, my heart and breath slowing, solidifying, becoming even and distilled. My entire being had dropped into a warm, comfortable space outside of time and was hanging there, suspended. Timeless moments are magic, aren’t they? I listened to my breath, my fingers gently swirling the pulp onto my creation, and I felt the most profound love for this object that I had made, that I was still in the process of making. If you believe in God, or God as Creator, this is such a great picture of how it must be to see us through his-her perspective. Artists are gods in their worlds… in fact, each of us, whenever we create anything, which we are always, always doing in some way, even if it’s just thoughts, are gods of our worlds.
This morning I was looking at my buddha, slowly drying there on the table, and thought of all the pulp that’s left in the bowl in the fridge. I still need it for the second, sculpting layer, but there’s enough left to begin a sculpture for my daughter-in-la Amber, while this one dries. She and I share a love of primitive statues, especially the great fat female goddesses with pendulous breasts, the eternal divine earth mothers offering nourishment to the world, so I’m going to make one for her. I can already see most of it in my mind’s eye, though I’ll flow with whatever emerges as I work, even if it’s different from what I’d initially thought. I’m very excited to begin another sculpture! I believe I may put a baby at her breast and give her a mermaid’s tail, both significant symbols to Amber.
Whenever I reenter an art medium, the others that have given me pleasure fade into the background, but never disappear. I still draw occasionally in my art journal, am going to crochet a balaclava for a friend, and will undoubtedly, at some point, incorporate painting into the papier-mache I’m doing now, if it stays at the forefront. I like that my interests undulate like the waves of an ocean. They’re the waves of my particular ocean, to continue the God analogy, the seascape specific to me. We all have our own worlds to order, to make into whatever we will. There are video games now that allow you to create your own worlds! You can choose to become evil or good, based on whichever action you take–each decision, even if it seems insignificant, even if nobody else is around to see, decides your path. I think that’s marvelous; a great illustration of how life is. Of course, that’s only scratching the surface, because life is not that simple. Instead, it’s a matter of shades of gray, not black and white extremes, as nobody is evil and nobody is good. There are no devils or saints, only degrees of both in each of us, and it’s up to us to maneuver along our paths the best we can. It’s occurred to me lately that being human is equal to making mistakes, but it’s very difficult for us to accept this. We’re always expecting perfection from others, always expecting it from ourselves–always expecting the sheer impossible, and then suffering myriad disappointments and deep pain as a result of our misunderstanding.
It’s cold today, almost freezing, so I’ll keep the heat cranked up to ‘toasty’ and wear my wool socks as I work. Sometimes I like to work in silence, but most of the time I have a television show going on in the living room, something I can listen to, like people did the old-timey radio shows, since I’m in the kitchen where there’s no TV. Obviously I can’t watch my beloved foreign films that way (though yesterday I got bored with Allegro, the Ulrich Thomsen movie I was watching, and simply listened to the beautiful Danish language being spoken as I journaled), but that’s okay; my interest in that arena has waned anyway and I’m now on to British police procedurals. I can’t get enough of them. My favorite lately is Midsomer Murders, the show that has been airing for, I don’t know, is it twenty years? It has a million seasons and when I first started watching, it was just one of those wonderful background shows: two-plus hours of country village sounds, birds twittering, pots clanging together, teakettles whistling, dogs barking, the occasional scream (it IS murder, after all), and always that terrifying bird shrieking in the distance (what is that anyway, a peacock? Edited to add: it’s a red fox! Listen here…) Above all, the lilt and lull of English accents, so comforting to my ears. But over time I began to feel invested in the main characters, the interesting storylines, and the increasingly creative writing, and now I love it. In fact, it’s a bother that I love it so because it’s hard to only listen without wanting to see what’s going on.
Time to do grab some breakfast (bologna sandwich, natch) and do some reading. I’ve been reading Leaving My Father’s House by Marion Woodman, one of my favorite Jungian analysts, so I’ll spend some time on that, think through what I’ve read, and then record and makes notes on the dream I had last night in my journal. After that, some light housework and then sculpturing! I have the car today so I may toddle out to the grocery store and library, or I may not. I can catch a glimpse, outside the window, of the swaying cedar branches as they part to reveal a gorgeous lavender sky. Looks like another rich and beautiful day. Love to you all! xo
* The post title is from the subject line of an email I received from Lulu.com, the self-publishing site I’d used to make Stir the Sky. It made me laugh. If you’re not sure why, look up “tool” in the Urban Dictionary. :)