October 12th, 2006
the things in the middle of my head this morning
It’s amazing how much your surroundings can affect your sense of well being. While it did not seem to affect my ability to create these last few months, I now feel myself lighter, calmer, more in my body, sleeping so very deeply (something I haven’t done for months.) I have been transformed into a more secure version of myself.
The house is one of my creations that I add to with little bits here and there, a robin’s egg blue on this wall, a small collection of stones over here, a couple of my collages in the corner, photos from travels in frames. I have not yet been able to pull out my books just yet as I do not have a bookshelf for them in the studio. They are the most important component in my creative life, even just seeing them gives me a feeling of excitement. The wanting to run to the journal to write. I love that feeling.
Let me tell you that even after so many years of doing work that I love on a regular basis I have never lost that feeling of “not knowing what I am doing”. Some of it is with me every day. After this year I will have written and had published six books with major publishers. I still feel like I am a hack that is about to get figured out. Someone will call me up next week and in a strong voice say, “the gig is up missus, I know what you’ve been doing, and it’s all over.”
But then, I’ve learned that everyone feels this way, only most of us don’t talk about it. I’m not sure why I’m writing about this right now, except that the thought came into my head and it wants to come out for some reason. So there you have it. Reading obsessivley about Eva Hesse’s life has brought some new insights into the forefront. I want to be willing to let go of the need to ‘produce’, I want to let go of the pressure to be a great artist, (where did that come from?) Eva writes…
“One of my first visions when I woke up from my operation is that I didn’t have to be an artist to justify my existence. That I had a right to live without being one.”
Oh, how we pressure ourselves. Reading that made me feel better for a time. Take a few deeper breaths. Who would you be if you stopped trying so hard? Contemplate that just for a moment. Sit with it if you dare. what if you didn’t produce a thing for the next while? (something about this thought terrifies me I admit.)
Lately I look out the window at the fire-red trees and think to myself, “how can I be inside right now when the leaves are changing, the leaves are changing.” I want to watch them every minute so I can soak it all in, get every color into my palette, this fall will never happen again.
I guess that is why we love it so. Because it is fleeting. Impermanent.
But I am enjoying being inside in this new place. Walking from room to room. Cooking over a big pot in the kitchen. Filling the house with new smells of curry and incense and clean sheets. How wonderful it is to have a real bed again, instead of sleeping on a couch, (or thermarest).
the leaves are calling me to come join them, and so I do. there is enough time for everything else. later.