Tuesday, September 30, 2008
It's not something that drops out of the sky.
It's not something where you sit at your picture window
and watch the sun glistening off the trees
and a deer walks by and whispers in your ear.
It's really a craft, and it's hard work.
It's just a lot of discipline,
you get better with each project."
"I started writing down people's conversations
as they sat around the bar.
When I put them together I found some music hiding in there."
I love that art is everywhere. It's all in how you look at it.
It's right between your two feet.
Look and pay attention.
Previously I wrote that I struggle with art making.
What Tom Waits said about it being a craft, hard work
and requires discipline, I feel very validated, it is hard
work. Discipline~~yikes. That's difficult in and of itself.
Do you ever find yourself getting distracted whilst trying
to practice discipline? The dishes need to be washed,
my glasses need cleaning, the stray eyebrows on my chin
need plucking and my favorite.....suddenly a wave of
exhaustion come over me--I am tired and need a nap.
It seems so impossible at times to sit still and work.
We show up to work at our craft, and then are confronted
with all this trivial crap. It takes such effort to push
through all the distractions. Maybe it's all part of the
Friday, September 26, 2008
Nature's first green is gold,
Two roads diverged in a yellow wood.
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same.
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I--
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference ~~
So how do you know you're on the road less traveled?
What does the road you're on look like?
Are you making a difference?
Throw your heart over the bars and your body will follow.
Monday, September 22, 2008
"As we write, we are both describing and deciding the direction that our life is taking. As we become honest on the page about our likes and dislikes, our hopes and dreams, as we become willing to be clear, the murk of our life begins to settle and we see more deeply into our truth. Writing is a practice field. It teaches us how to do happy. It teaches us how to do brave. It teaches us how to do open, caring, loyal, resourceful, and, yes, vulnerable. If we can do it on the page, if we can let our imagination connect the dots, we begin to get a picture of ourselves as larger and more fully human than we may yet have managed." (Julia Cameron)
This quote gives me a lot of hope. Hope that the practice of writing is a teacher, that it brings clarity. Writing helps us excavate the buried parts of ourselves, to work through the hard things. Hope that the more we practice writing, the risk it takes to be vulnerable will become less.
Sunday, September 21, 2008
Monday, September 15, 2008
Rainer Maria Rilke
I picked up a book, oh probably 2 years ago now, by Anna Deavere Smith "letters to a young artist." For me it's a kind of devotional for the artist. During a fit of insomnia last night, I read- "You are an explorer, You understand that every time you go into the studio, you are after something that does not yet exist. Maybe it's the same for a runner, I don't know. But with running, or swimming, or gymnastics, or tennis, the achievement is measurable. Forget about competition. Rather, commit yourself to find out the true nature of your art. How does it really work; what's the essence of it? Go for that thing that no one can teach you. Go for that communion, that real communion with your soul, and the discipline of expressing that communion to others. That doesn't come from competition. That comes from being one with what you are doing. It comes from concentration, and from your own ability to be fascinated endlessly with the story, the sone, the jump, the color you are working with."
Undressing the Muse
When Sonny Rollins walked onto that bridge to play his saxophone to the wind he was stepping off the stage and into the woodshed. It wasn’t a failure of nerve, of course, nor was it only a deepening of his craft. He was breaking a voice apart and refashioning it. He was undressing his muse.
That’s what I want now: less stage, more bridge (the wind steady and relentless) and room to go about the private business of becoming—nothing more, not a single iota less—who I am meant to be.
And if that’s asking too much, then allow me to rest a moment, and when I wake let me be refreshed.
I've been spending--or trying to--time in my studio (woodshed, if you will) and work. I'm in a transition period as the art I was making was for art fairs...trying to figure out what people would buy. BIG mistake. I became so unhappy, there was NO JOY in creating. I need this woodshed experience, this digging deep, "the breaking a voice apart and refashioning it". It's been a real struggle, I've been practicing procrastination, resistance and avoidance. I probably spend more time journaling than art making. It's hard work.
Friday, September 12, 2008
Sometimes I have a difficult time putting my feelings into words. Sometimes it's best done with shapes, colors and textures. The feelings are there nonetheless and feel as deep and raw as the sea. James Earl Jones said, "One of the hardest things in life is having words in your heart that you can't utter." Do you ever feel that way?