Archives for posts with tag: what will you do with it?

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?

Here we are – the longest night of a year nearly over.

The day began with a frozen misty morning.

I’ll celebrate the long night, recognizing the slow – so slow – return of spring, somewhere in the distance of future dawns. I’ll meditate tonight, and even stay up late, possibly, since I won’t be using a timer or an alarm, only letting the moments become one with awareness, limitless, leisurely, unconcerned, unconfined. Another way of taking care of me, and an annual holiday (for me) honored over a life time.

It’s been a lovely slow day. I slept in. Enjoyed a great hike in the frosty morning air without getting a single good picture. Returned home to the warmth of gratitude and gas heat. Spent the day reading by the fire, sometimes looking up to see squirrel visitors at play. I’ve been needing this. No pressure. No agenda. No chores. A day of leisure, followed by… more leisure. I feel my shoulders relax at the thought of it, and a soft smile creeps over my face.

I miss my Traveling Partner for a moment – not unusual, I have a lot of those moments – and think ahead to a different future. I wonder what the future will be like, when it is the present? I don’t linger in that wistful wondering, though, not when this is such a lovely moment, right here, right now. 🙂

Moments are built on choices. What are you choosing for your moment, right now? I hope it is quite delightful. 🙂 (If it is a less than delightful moment, I hope that passes quickly and that the next is quite pleasant. What will you choose to make it so?)

I wasn’t actually going to write this morning, preferring to chill quietly and enjoy my morning coffee in solitude. Then…

This happened.

…this happened.

I literally stopped whatever else I had been doing to watch the sun rise. Worth it. It’s been that sort of weekend… filled with moments. Moments worth savoring. Filled with unexpectedly lovely moments. Filled with delightfully connected moments. Filled with fun moments.

It’s worth just chilling for a few minutes, and considering the moments. How about the moment my dear friend of many years finally arrived on Friday? That was a lovely one. Or the moments over breakfast, catching up on all the mundane things in an adult life that are commonly shared among friends…only…we’ve been separated by geographical distance for many years. There were moments talking over our unique challenges – and laughing over how not-very-unique-at-all they turn out to be. There were sushi moments, and pizza moments. Coffee moments. Moments out on the beautiful drive to the beach. Moments of very hot weather without AC – and moments returning from the beach to discover the weather had become cooler, in our absence.

Then there were those amazing moments of education, encouragement, revelation, commiseration, and deep contented joy, lingering over chocolate, sharing our passion for words, and for writing.

...and moments at the beach.

…and moments to appreciate even smaller details.

So… without intending to, I write, while I also do what I had intended to do – which is to take quiet time just to appreciate moments.

Today is a good day for moments. Carpe momentum. 🙂

I woke around 1:30 am or so. I never figured out what woke me, and it didn’t matter much. The night was quiet, and I almost went right back to sleep – then the anxiety hit me, out of nowhere, ‘about’ nothing, just washing over me, filling my awareness…

What does the darkness conceal? What can it show me?

What does the darkness conceal? What can it show me?

I got up for a short while, at that point, and there was no line to wait for a seat on my meditation cushion. 🙂 I opened the windows and patio door to let fresh breezes cool the apartment. Meditation during the night is some of my favorite, although I doubt I’d set my alarm to have the experience of it. My anxiety passed. I’ve no real idea how long I was meditating, and since this morning is a Sunday, there was no need to check the clock. I returned to sleep.

“Sleeping in” is a rare treat for me, generally, at least at this point in life. I woke much later than I typically do, unconcerned about the change in time or timing. I made coffee, saving room to laugh at myself; having made a French press to share with a friend yesterday, I’d forgotten to reset the quantity of ground coffee needed, on my burr grinder. This morning I inadvertently ground all the coffee I’d be needing for the entire day! Oops… Such a small thing could have been enough to set me off and destroy my mood for an entire day, once upon a time. It’s a nice change that this morning it only caused laughter.

I’ve no particular agenda for today, and my “to do list” remains a blank page. Today is a good day for it.  I could paint. Play video games. Garden. Clean up the ludicrous quantity of photos on my phone (8976). Read a book. Write. Practice on my bass guitar. Tidy something up that feels disorganized. Hike. There are by far more choices than there is time in the day. Hell, I could spend the entire day contentedly dithering about my choices for what to do with my time… and everything I listed seems quite a lovely way to pass the day [to me].

Isn’t contentment enough? Today I’ll be doing… something. I suspect I’ll be quite content, whatever I choose to do with my time, today. That’s definitely enough. Choosing contentment, and practicing the practices that put it within everyday reach, may not be ‘everything’, and maybe it won’t ‘change the world’, but it is enough – and it has profoundly changed how I experience my life. 🙂 We become what we practice.

Choose. Begin again.

Choose. Begin again.