I only am now seeing how much tension, anxiety and fight-or-flight response drive has bound my heart/mind/body/spirit for the last two or three (or more...) years. This fear response has been a natural stimulant. Like caffeine or other additive, despite its negative effects on my health and well-being, panic has kept me moving and creating art art art -- whether or not this creativity was often induced by an inferred need to prove I deserve to exist.
I can see how much worry injected my chest now, because as graduate school responsibilities diminish toward the zero mark, that crystalized static is steadily dripping away. It's wonderful to finish things I've started -- I have a few projects wrapping up right now and that's got me in a beautiful emotional place. Without this electric impulse jutting me forward, however, it's difficult to let new things begin, or to continue at a consistent rate of speed in order to keep up the good work.
This new calmer state is taking some getting used to. I do in fact have new things to begin and maintain, things that have deadlines, things that need regular attention. I want to remember how to get inspired to do great work without panic, and with low energy. How do I do that?
Dwayne Blackaller, a magical theater maker I get to work with often, would say to find the thing I love about what I'm doing right now. Cindy Shearer, my advisor and professor at California Institute of Integral Studies, would say not to force it, to let the inspiration arise. That's what I'm working on -- cultivating the love and inspiration in each moment again, in the same way I ask my students to do, without rushing, trusting the process and letting myself feel how I feel.
So this moment, here are 12 things I love right now:
Dandelions in seed look like the moon in its various phases as the particles blow off.
I heard an autoharp played for the first time in person, days ago.
All five year olds, much like adults, want more minutes to do what they want to do.
Everyone has a personal definition of what spring should feel like.
Frustration and anger are legitimate emotions that drive in a different way than fear.
Kindness is a daily practice and it's as hard and deeply opening as being & noticing.
My face now looks less disheveled than a flat sheet of paper entrenched in muddy footprints.
April sounds more alive than February.
Silent pauses between words speak louder than verbal ones.
The smell of water meeting soil blooms blossoms in my belly.
Some of my favorite people to talk to are linguistically trapped in the 90s.
Mourning doves still sound like owls to me.
I need to keep collecting these interests, these loves, these sweetnesses.
I want to build a way of art-making that isn't based in tense, competitive worth-proving.
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Process notes on a work in progress (me). This mostly contains raw rough content pulled out of practice notebooks. Occasional posts also invite you into the way I work, with intermittent notes on the hows and whys on the whats I make. Less often you may also find prompts and processes I've brought to workshops, as well as surveys that help me gather material for projects. Similar earlier posts from years ago can be found on: