Archives for posts with tag: beyond words

I’m sipping my coffee and thinking about life as art. Authenticity, creativity, beauty… transcendence of pain, finding voice for those things in life for which we lack language or words… isn’t a life well-lived, itself, an artistic endeavor? Life, lived, as an art form, itself… means… what? Another day in the studio. Today, a lot of questions, consideration of the day behind me, work already started, unfinished – like life.

Who is the artist? A question for answering, individually, subjectively, personally. There is only one answer, for any one artist, really; gnothi seauton. The journey to the answer, is the life as art.

A woman told me, once, some long time ago in another life altogether, “I don’t have a creative bone in my body – I’m not an artist. I don’t do anything creative.” I took that at face value, at the time, and it fit my understanding of the world, then. I later saw her in her home. Her home struck me as a piece of fairly wonderful artistry, and the lack of paint staining her jeans, or dust under her nails, or bits and pieces of creative moments needing to be cleaned up didn’t detract from that impression at all. Her home was lovely, orderly, cared-for – each piece of memorabilia, each ornament, carefully selected, an impression exquisitely crafted – how is this not also art? Wherever she moved, she appeared to be quite carefully placed to communicate a mood, a moment, or an idea of beauty. The point I’m trying to make is that, as an artist, it isn’t really for me to define “what is art?” – only to define who I am, as an artist, myself. Those choices are not made of words – they are conveyed by my actions. By my art.

Words over coffee. It was a good day in the studio yesterday. Playing with paint – and chaos. I choose my materials with care.

A pair, 11″ x 14″ acrylic on canvas w/glow and UV. “Chaos Theory”

I did several pieces as pairs yesterday, specifically indulging my fascination with chaos theory. I started with two canvases, the same palette of colors for each, the same measured amounts of those pigments, placed similarly on each canvas, the canvases placed side by side, and worked as a single larger piece, to the same playlist. Mood, movement, brush strokes, technique – all as much the same as I can easily make them.  In every instance, of course, two different canvases still result. Not just different-as-in-separate-and-individual, but also just… different, as in – not the same. It was a fun day in the studio, playing with science, chemistry, and philosophy.

I spent the day in a meditation made of movement, color, and music, contemplating differences and similarities, considering the way I’ve carved up my life into “separate canvases”; the life of the artist, alongside the life of the analyst. The lover, alongside the angry woman. The professional, alongside the free spirit. The citizen, alongside the protester. I spent the day thinking about life as art, and contemplating this vast broad canvas of experiences as a single unified whole. I spent the day free of any constraints aside from those I have assigned myself. I answered a few questions – I asked a lot more.

I spent time in the garden, too. Another living metaphor.

I gardened later. I grilled a lovely summer evening repast. I meditated as evening came, and watched the dwindling twilight become night. It was the sort of day I could single out from among many and say “this is some of my best work”, as an artist.

Happily enough, it’s already time to begin again. The day stretches ahead of me, a blank canvas. You, too. What will you do with it?

It’s been a lovely week – truly, the entire week, lovely end-to-end. Remarkable. See, here? I am remarking on it. Clearly, remarkable. Well… maybe not so remarkable at all that; it’s been quite a while since I had a terrible week, aside from the irritants of work-related stressors (and at least for now, those have faded into memory). In any case, remarkable or not, it’s been a very pleasant week, filled with love and friendship, beginning with just about the best birthday I recall having, and ending with today – a quiet, calm, gray Saturday preceded by a good night’s sleep. I spent a lot of the week with my traveling partner – time well-spent. Life time. 🙂

No idea what I’ll do with today. Returning to the workforce looms ever closer, each morning of each day one day nearer to the one on which my alarm clock will do its dirty work, waking me before I care to be awake… for now, no alarm clock. I continue to enjoy it greatly, waking with a smile most days. A literal, actual, smile, in the moment that I wake… now that’s remarkable. I feel a sense that each day is precious – even more so than I often do. What will I do with today to make the time most worthwhile?

Well, sure. This.

Well, sure. This.

The wise course seems to be to continue to practice the practices most useful for me to maintain emotional balance, to withstand life’s highs and lows, to remain mindful moment-to-moment – or to at least practice, and begin again when I miss the mark – and simply to savor the time, as it is, as it happens. This is my experience. I suppose it makes sense to experience it. 🙂 No rush. No pressure. No demands or urgency from within. Just a day – unscripted, and ready to become what it will. I’m ready to enjoy it, without forcing it into a mold. There are, as usual, verbs involved. What will my choices be? How will I approach the world – or will I? Will I go? Do? Will I devote myself to gentle luxury self-care? Relax and read the day away? Garden? Walk mile upon mile of forested trail, with a pack, snacks, a camera, and plenty of water? Will I cross town to the farmer’s market? Will I seek? Will I find? Will I travel and return with tales of adventure? Will life happen to me – or will I embrace it?

Walking my own path, one step at a time.

Walking my own path, one step at a time.

I sip my coffee, thinking of love. It’s been an absolutely wonderful week for love. My smile deepens and I consider loving moments built on choices. I already miss my traveling partner (still… again…), although we’ve managed to spend most of the week together in a loose relaxed on again/off again way that has both delighted me (to see him so much/often) and given me the space and time I need for other things. I take a moment to consider this human being who is such an exception to my contentment with solitude… I yearn for him. I adore him. I think about him when he is apart from me. My muse. My sanity. Another sip from my now cool-enough-to-drink-down-quickly coffee becomes finishing it off, and I notice this blog post has become, somehow, a love note. Well. Not the direction I thought the day was headed – I’m okay with that. I’m okay with a lot more of who I am these days than I once was. 🙂 I’m okay with love.

Love matters most.

Love matters most.

Today is a good day for love. Today is a good day for unplanned, unscripted, unlimited ease. Today is a good day to take care of me, and to treat the world with great kindness. Change is. The world, too, is changing…each choice we make, each of us, is some small part of that strange human difference engine. Today I will ‘be the change’, rather than just standing around while change happens. It’s enough that the changes are small, and limited to the only sorts of things I can change… myself, my actions, my expectations, my assumptions, my words.  Today is a good day to change the world.