Sunday, November 14, 2010

Sometimes I feel like giving up.   It's been one of those weeks for me.  I have managed to do a little creative something everyday but none to very little of it involved clay or rusty bits.   Well, I did look through some library books about mosaic.

I have had several visions for some of my rusty bits.  First it involved learning to weld so I could weld these bits together and make some really strange and cool yard sculpture.   This makes me remember I once had a flirtation with rock climbing.  I bought shoes and started climbing walls and realized I love the idea of this more than actually doing it.  The nearly new shoes went to a sports consignment shop.  That was twenty years ago - ugh!    

Several years ago I gave up the idea of learning to weld.   It occurred to me that I did not need to try it to discover it was like rock climbing for me.  I love the idea but I strongly suspect I would not actually like doing it.  Then slowly over time my vision morphed toward making clay creations and using my rusty bits with those.  This is what I've run up against - my vision doesn't actually match what I tend to do creatively.    I see these rusty bits and clay put together in my mind and I just know it isn't my art.  It isn't what I create.   The vision is based on what I've seen others create.   Suddenly this week the committee came in and convinced me to give up.  My committee is what I call the gremlins/inner critics.   I sort of stopped doing any of the creative things I was doing with clay.

So I'm stuck.  And in a bit of funk because of it.  Ok, a lot of funk.   I am hoping to break through the funk just a little bit.  To say hey, committee, I won't give up.  I may give up the vision I have for these rusty bits, but that doesn't mean I have to give up creating.   Today, I am going to get back with my hands in the clay.  I may do some other creative things too, but first priority is to get my hands into the clay.

When I started this Art Every Day Month I thought I will push through and make something with all these rusty bits using clay.   I will focus my attention just on that.  I learned this week that I really don't want this at all.  What I mean is - I am much happier doing a creative dawdle than creating some big dang do.   I was trying to take my vision and make some big dang do.

Really what I want is to be enough.  To create what pulls me each day.  To work in small lumps, small steps.  To say one day I will create by writing my blog.  To say another day I will create in my journal.  To get out clay and form something out of it one day.....but another day paint glaze on the clay.     To photograph another day.  To not force myself into some kind of mold or vision that is outside of me.  Not that there is anything wrong with creating a big dang do it is just that I've come to realize that for me just the act of doing some tangible hands on creating everyday is enough. 

So I'm changing my mind mid-month about the rusty bits.    I am letting a lot of it go.   I still may use a bit or two in something I'm making but I've decided to be creative every day without a forced agenda.   Actually, now I can feel my energy rising.   I don't feel so much in a funk. 

I give myself permission to be enough.  And with that I am off to the studio.......


  1. I think that this situation is precisely when we have to be the most kind to ourselves. You had an idea, and then you realized the idea wasn't what you really wanted. It should be, "end of story,"--but it seldom is.

    A glimmering of an theory just came to me...let me see if I can coherently think it through here in the comment:

    Maybe when we give ourselves permission to abandon our "not truly for us" ideas, the "truly for us" ideas flow into our lives more readily. It seems like we're so afraid of not following through, not finishing (and maybe to some degree we actually DO need to be aware of it), they we end up holding ourselves back--resentfully making us either finish what we don't want to do, or else holding us in that space of meanness and blame and guilt, where we freeze and then don't do anything at all.

    But if we can tune into ourselves, find that fine line, figure out when we're actually allowing fear to stop us from completion, and when we've realized that we're truly just not interested--if we can hear that, feel that, and then gently encourage or give permission to let go--then, we can find creative peace.

    If we can't give ourselves permission to explore and to try and to dream new projects, and then give ourselves permission to acknowledge that something is just not our thing, then how can we freely create? It's not just that we need courage/permission to explore, we need courage/permission to move on, as well.

    Not sure if this is making sense...

    In any case, holding yourself to the ideas you had about the rusty bits is putting you in your funk--it's not serving you or the world (who so want you to add your gifts to the well-being of us all). I love the idea of the freedom you're suggesting--to move from activity to activity--to truly BE a creative dawdler.

    The world needs dawdlers, too...

  2. Karen, Thanks for the comment and the encouragement. It made sense. I'm adding permission to change my mind and not finish an idea if I reach a point where I know it isn't for me. Which is what happened here with the rusty bits.
    This brings up the notion that I do have a bit of resistance to giving myself permission to not finish. I have a lot of unfinished "stuff" in my life and I realize now I use that against myself.......might be better to give myself permission and kindness.