My Voice

Journal page 17…

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A quiet weekend.

Today begins a new week.

I have an idea for a biggish canvas that I want to work on, but first I need to clear space in my studio.

I have been sorting through the stuff that is in there – trying to be aware of what actually contributes to art-making and what is there to simply make me feel like I am an artist.  This process is a lot harder than one might think.  I still struggle with saying that I am an artist.  I used to just say that I made stuff.  So, I’m making progress in that respect.

Anyhow, getting rid of stuff that I don’t need is a good thing.  It makes room for what I really need, and clarifies and simplifies the process of making art for me.  A studio that is functional is better than a room that looks like a studio in a magazine spread…not that I actually achieved that look, but I kept trying.

Still, parting with stuff that I might need for a future, hypothetical project is difficult.

And that difficulty applies to all areas of my home, not just the studio.

So, today we are redoing the Konmari method for the whole house.

Not the whole house today, of course.

Today is clothing.

I don’t anticipate that there will be a lot to get rid of, but who knows…

Until tomorrow –

Peace.

Rest

Friday night I was tired.  Not really sleepy – just tired – the I don’t want to think, make a decision, or accomplish one more single thing kind of tired.

I ended up sitting on the sofa, re-re-watching a movie, eating popcorn and sharing it with my dog.  A movie where the good guys win and the bad guys lose and there is no doubt which is which.

There were things undone on my list and a million more that could be on the list, BUT…

We have accomplished so much around here lately.  Things are getting done that I had given up on doing.  The time spent together is more intentional.  All in all, life is good and better than it has been for awhile.  Not perfect, not “done”, but moving along towards a goal…a dream.  That’s all good stuff.

BUT…sitting and resting is good stuff too…and I tend to forget that.  I usually keep striving and going, thinking that I will rest when it’s done.  That’s a misstep on my part.   There are limits to my ability to “do”.  It will never all be “done”.  I am somewhat of a perfectionist after all.

If I don’t pause every now and then, there is really no sense to all the doing.  There is no appreciation of the progress and no realization of the accomplishment.  There is no joy.

So, today I will rest some.  There is a part-time job that has to be done.  But if it doesn’t have to be done today, I’m not going to do it.  I’m not going to look for projects.  I’m not going to look for things that need to be done.  I’m not even going to proof this blog.

I’m going to sit and look at what has been done and enjoy.

Rest.

Is it Me?

…is it my belief?  Have I consciously and intentionally thought it through and adopted an ideal.

Or…am I thoughtlessly perpetuating the belief system that I was raised with or adopted from a group of individuals that I associate with or have associated with in the past?

What do I believe?

These questions could (and do) apply to just about every aspect of my life.

Let’s just pick a simple (and non-controversial) topic.

A controversial topic got me started on this rabbit trail, but I’m not going “there” today.  In brief, I read something on facebook in a group I follow, and was moved to comment and take a stand.  I don’t normally do so, as computer-land can be a dangerous place for serious discussion.  I find that folks will quite often “say” things on the computer that they would never say in a face-to-face discussion.  Quite simply, with the human factor removed, they just get down-right rude and ugly.  That’s not conducive to intelligent discourse.

Anyway, back to simple.

I’ve quit looking at decorating magazines.  You know, those “Better Homes and Gardens” type periodicals.

I love them…at first.  Then, I start looking around at my little environment and dissatisfaction starts to set in.  If I had the sofa that’s in that photo…and that rug…maybe just some fresh paint?

I conveniently forget that it took a team of 15 creative consultants to stage that photo.  And that everything that made it a real life lived-in home is just out of view of the camera.  Nobody lives there.

I don’t live there.

I can’t have all that stuff laying around.  I don’t have a crew of 15 people decorating, organizing and dusting. I don’t have the financial resources to remodel, redecorate and accumulate.

What I do have is a home…an imperfect, sheltering home that I’m grateful for.

I’ve had to figure out what works for me and not try to live in someone’s else’s life.  I must constantly be aware of outside influences and stay true to myself.

I have to choose my own style and live in a way that fits with my belief system.  I have to define a set of “rules” that I live by.

Like I said –  my house is just an example.  Perhaps a metaphor.

This discussion could just as well be about politics, or religion, or life-style choices.

But that’s for you to decide .