Saturday, October 27, 2012

Day 17,188: The Problem with Preciousness

I am prone to circle-turning, much like a dog in its bed, compelled to go round and round before I finally feel the all clear to dive in.  Sometimes I succumb to the dizziness borne of the thousand things I'll swear I "need" to do before a project can begin.  Inevitably, I end up saying screw it for another day.  Where (and when) she'll stop, nobody knows ...

I consider myself to be making progress in my rotational recovery.  If I am alert enough to recognize what's happening before the circle-turning gains momentum (or, if I'm lucky, before it even begins), I can coax myself right into the deep end.  (You do know that all of the good stuff is waiting in the deep end, right?)  But the impulse to hold the creative process as something precious and rare is and may always be there for me.

So today, for the first time in over four months, I needed to prep the cover for my next journal.  I pulled out my collage supplies and took the wrapper off the new sketchbook.  I felt that old, familiar urge that lies dormant in my belly start to wake up and catch on to what I had hoped to sneak past it.  Oh no you don't!  I heard it wail.  Not before you ... 

And so, as quickly as possible, I slapped the first glue-laden image down.  And then the next.  And then another.  I took a breath and then patted myself on the back.

Preciousness of process is a joy-killer.  Its mission is to keep us stuck in our heads instead of moving through our hearts and hands.  Art is meant to be a part of everyday life.  There are no shoulds beyond showing up and proceeding directly to putting out.  The circumstances are perfect just because you are there and willing.  Don't buy the lie that later is better.  It's not.  Or that you don't have the right supplies ... or, quite frankly, the right, period.  You do.  Okay, let's be honest here, what you create might turn out crappy.  But, then again, it might not.  The real crappy is how you will feel if you put it off.  Again.  Everything else is fixable.

That said, today I am grateful for the opportunity to remember how natural it can be for me to dive in and create.  It can be for you, too.  Come on in.  The water's warm.

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