I am sitting at my dining table with a cup of steaming mate` tea and watching storm clouds march in regiment across the lake. It is getting darker and that odd still when the birds go quiet is hovering outside the window. I am bracing for that first delicious and glorious boom of thunder. The low rumbles have been building-but they are like an orchestral warm up for the big show. I love a good storm.
Technically, I am working from home this morning. I don’t usually indulge in this but I needed space in my head and around me to begin the tedium of writing a grant. So, what am I doing? Writing on my blog instead (no worries-this is part of the process: the purging of creativity to prepare for the mundane). I miss doing this on a regular basis though and I truly, truly wish I had some great photos or a review of a gluten free recipe to share! I may share some art later but first I just need to play around with ideas–and listen to the storm approach.
It is so dark now the only light in the room is my computer screen and I must admit that I love this aspect of a storm as well. There is something down right decadent about turning on my favorite lamp when the room should be filled with daylight. It also makes me long to curl up with a good book (as opposed to research and a grant packet) and while away the storm comforted by the words of Poe or King or Dahl-something to give me the crawlies-just like when I was a kid.
In truth, I am not sure where this post is going-I usually have some sort of a plan. I could go into the frustrations and headaches of my job, my philosophical differences with the boss (did I mention he used the term-and I quote-“someone your age” in a conversation with me???-not cool man, not cool) or ramble about how hard it is to balance everything-but I don’t want to go there-even though I did just a little. I think what I am looking for today is to simply be. I still have to work and I still have to research and write-but for this moment as the first drops of rain leave trails on the windows-I just want to be.
Shakespeares oft quoted line “To be, or not to be…” gives me pause because what I am finding-as I drift further and further into the 9 to 5 work-a-day world-is that I cease to ‘be’. I have become more defined by what I do, or fail to do, as opposed to being what I am. Make sense to anyone besides me?
Now, I tread a delicate rope here…I feel I should clarify a bit. I LOVE (yes, those are all capitals!) what I get to do everyday. I am proud of my instructors and my students and the potential for an arts program like ours (hop on over here to see where I spend my days). There is no better feeling than seeing how happy a student is when their work comes out of the kiln or how grateful a parent is that they can actually afford to have their child attend classes over the summer. Good stuff, let me tell you.
Makes it hard to long ‘to be’ when I think of all the good things happening around me-it makes it SO WORTH IT! But I do miss ‘being’ a working artist. This is the area where I really need to find balance. I was reminded of this when I was given the opportunity to create a work of art I had been thinking of-litereally-for years at an amazing event called SPACE (if you check out the video-that is me creating behind the speaker and they show my piece!). That feeling I get when I am working or when I land a show or competition is gratifying. I experienced that feeling working at SPACE and again this week when I found out that the piece I was working on-Fault Line/Marriage Bed -is headed to Chicago for the 7th Annual National Self-Portrait Exhbition at 33 Contemporary. I am grateful and excited to be a part of this great exhibition for a second year. Woot!
Sidenote: The sky just opened up and the rumbles hint at a coming crescendo!
Anyway-all this to say that it is humbling and rewarding to be reminded what resides at the core of ones ‘be-ing’. My hope for you-as I head back to my work-is that you find that center, that reminder in the midst of a storm of what proves your be-ing so that it doesn’t have to be a choice between ‘To be, or not to be’. It shouldn’t be a question at all. Whether you are be-ing creative, be-ing purposeful, be-ing relaxed, or be-ing busy…just be. Do. Be. Doobie, doobie, do–OK, I shouldn’t have done that but I couldn’t resist be-ing a little silly. I am off to be responsible and get to work…but first a bit more tea.
Aaaaaand…there it is! BOOM! A good ole floor shaking BOOM! Great way to end a post…