This has been a week of radical ideas perched in my forest of familiarity. Unlike the Green Peace rebels though, these radicals called for cutting some big trees. I started to get nervous.
These trees have been my friends… my anchors… my solidarity in the hunt for safety. I like some predictability.
I’ve been making more books and boxes recently as I follow my vibrant path.
My ambitious goal is to produce one each week. Naturally, for this to happen, some other creative venues must fall away. So, I haven’t taken time to fill my empty journal pages with colorful collages and I begin each day with white open space. The first radical discovery is that this turns out to be better for my creative juices. It’s as if, in my hunger for beauty, I was overeating… leaving no appetite for new ideas. Without the predesigned pages, full of images, I suddenly felt driven to the studio to make colorful book covers.
I began to think about simplicity in a new way: as an invitation instead of a deprivation.
The second radical idea arrived as I was reading a new book from the library. Lisa Kanarek, in “Home Office Solutions” describes numerous working styles. Her Bouncing Ball style, basically about jumping from one project to the next without finishing, made me laugh out loud and consider this: “keep the walls you face free from schedules, task lists, anything that suggests that other projects need your attention”. Ahhhh. I have filled my desk area with visual candy which supports my desire to do art as often as possible. However, since I often feel overwhelmed with so much I want to do, perhaps I need to pare down to the essentials. In a pleasing way, of course. I’m not talking about turning into a minimalist. I’m talking about encouraging the work at hand so that I will actually have more time for play in the studio where there is ample inspiration.
So, this afternoon, I gallantly cleaned my desk, organized the envelopes, papers and labels to be within easy reach and moved a large number of beautiful images to other areas of the house. I like the new look. It actually inspires me to finish all the filing. But not today. Today, I am writing…
There is one more radical path of removal asking for my attention. This one will take more than a week. I need to move my personal belongings out of the house so I can paint and finish the window trim. Little by little, I will weed out small excesses and evaluate my possessions. Everything left will go into boxes for future discovery. Then, when the work is done, I can start with the “fullness of nothing” and carefully decide what I want to move back inside. Another great invitation!
Now that I’ve done some selective logging, my forest is still familiar and it’s letting in more light. The setting sun is turning some wispy clouds a deep pink and I feel a satisfied calm with the new view.