It’s a risky business calling yourself an artist or a writer. People tend to hold you in higher or lower esteem than you actually deserve. Then there is a matter of assumptions… Attend a social gathering and then introduce yourself as a brain surgeon to one group a people and then a waitress to another. You will be treated accordingly. Thus I prefer to avoid labels entirely preferring when asked what I do using more of these descriptors:
I write, I make art, I play guitar, I sing, I garden, I am recovering from teaching middle school, or whathaveyou. Then there is the added pressure of living up to your label. It’s far more enjoyable to be a verb.
I would rather be a verb than a noun
I would rather emerge, shine, fly, dance
And kick up my heels
Rather than just be a person, place or thing
Let me describe an action, state or occurrence
And wedge myself in the predicate of a sentence
Give me the energy to escape the box with a pretty label
I recently became acquainted with this word through my online “Year of Painting class.” Alena Hennesy, the instructor uses this word frequently as she illustrates her process of intuitive painting on her videos. Wabi-sabi in short means “perfectly imperfect” Let go, let the process unfold.
I tend towards the perfectionism. As I watched the warm-up video and then looked at other’s work being posted I was paralyzed with fear. This process was way out of my comfort zone- but part of the reason for taking this class was to loosen up.
I started my first piece resisting the urge to recycle my first attempt mid-way and start over. Eventually, I worked through my fear, completed and accepted it. The piece is too bright and busy for my tastes, but others found it pleasing. It can only get easier after taking the first step. I started a small, scary journey and finished, perfectly imperfect.
The New Year is always full of good intentions. I just began my online class “A Year of Painting” taught by Alena Hennesy. Alena asked all of us to pick one word to be a focus on for the year. Among the many words posted were “healing, mindful, yes, grow, magical, allow.” It took me days to come up with mine, “COURAGE,” a perfect word for where I’m at.
I’m going to keep this word as my mantra to remind myself to be courageous in my writing, blogging, music, travel, my art, my heart, and all the things I intend to do this year.
I don’t consider myself a painter so I am out of my comfort zone. It will be interesting how I progress through this class I will share my journey on this blog knowing that showing vulnerability is also a sign of courage.
The holidays have gotten pretty simple around here My son is grown and there are no grandkids. We are very modest with our gift giving. Who needs more stuff? I’ve come to value traditions that don’t involve consumerism.
The one thing I have hung onto over many many years is making my own holiday cards. Sometimes they are color copied, some years they are poems I have written. This I got down to the basics with old-fashioned scissors, glue, scraps of paper, stamps, and sequins. I made most of them with a group of my friends (see my previous post) It’s fun just take time out of life and just be crafty.
I’m skipping the holiday letter this year in favor of putting a very short handwritten note with my signature. My card list is relatively small. If I do a few a night all will be out in the mail in a few days to friends and family.
That’s my little gift to others afar from the non-digital world of paper, glue, pen and a bit of love.
It shouldn’t be that difficult. Most people open their eyes, pop out of bed and voila!- on with their day. For me, making the transition from Dreamtime to wakefulness is a sacred ritual. This can sometimes take up to an hour. Even when I was working full-time I always allowed some time for this.
I have a lot of “wild hamsters” that populate my head and if I don’t get them in line my day seems chaotic. First I brew a cup of tea, heat up my “hotties” for my tight back and then meditate for 12 minutes. Once my “spousal equivalent” feeds our two dogs, Bandit (Red Heeler) and Dougan (Golden Retriever) he lifts them up on the bed which is the favorite part of their morning as well. (Nothing like starting the day with four-legged love). Then he crawls back into bed to read the paper.
I spend a few minutes in my planner thinking about my goals for the day or week. On to my journal where I may write anything that’s been lurking in my mind, a poem, or a sketch for some art.
Notice I don’t start the day reading the news. I fail to see the point of starting the day feeling depressed. I can always listen to NPR as I go about my day to stay informed.
Then I am ready to transition from human being to more of a human doing with a foundation of centeredness that I carry with me throughout my day.
“Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower.” ― Albert Camus
The Fall Equinox has passed and I am absolutely thrilled to be deep in the autumn colors. This is the season where I am released from the obligations of tending to biomass. Living on acreage in W. Oregon we have our share. We have a big garden, an orchard, lawn and flower beds. It’s a place where plants like to grow.
The rains have begun, the garden is torn out, the flower beds are mulched for the winter, and the firewood is in and stacked. This frees up more time to concentrate on my artwork, writing, and music. I sing in a women’s choir and we are getting ready for our holiday show. Additionally, I play the bodhran, an Irish drum and am learning to play the tenor guitar. Travels are finished for the year. It’s good to be home.