I was going through my old blog and came across some photos of my art in progress. Like this one. Which I remember got made into something I think I sold to a woman who helped me with my banking, right before I moved out of Santa Fe. There were a lot of photos of wonderful foods that friends had gathered from their gardens and arranged colorfully on various tables. There were pictures of children and babies. Also, I used to travel (as in going somewhere, looking for something) a lot and it’s not the travel that was so unusual but what I noticed – and someone recently remarked on this to me as well – was that I was always looking for beauty, and my work, at its essence was concerned with beauty, noticing it, capturing it, bringing it, offering it. I’ve been on a long break from making art steadily and more so from pushing it out into the world while I worked on other things. Primarily I was steeped in 12 step recovery. The feeling I had was that whatever you are at the core gets expressed in everything you do and even art can express itself as a dysfunction. I wanted to get at the root. Whereas, in the past my process around art was to heal myself through it – but it was always a case of living in this state of anticipated future healing and relief. I don’t know if this is making any sense. At some point what I wanted was to heal at a fundamental level, if that was possible, and not be striving to get there, but actually
These days I am happy more than I’m not. And it’s simple. I don’t go anywhere to get to it. I don’t travel ambitiously like I used to. Not that there’s anything wrong with traveling but I find for the first time that I am exactly where I want to be. I’m doing the dishes and I’m so present to doing the dishes I feel the exquisitely beautiful spaciousness of the moment. I walk from the car to the curb on the other side of the car and I’m aware and happy just to be making that motion. It’s these ridiculously mundane things that get me, that make me cry. And it’s not so much the actions but how I’m feeling while I do them. That I don’t need any medicine. I don’t need any art as beauty to make me feel better.
The question I’m sitting in now is: Do I still need to make art? Do I still want to?
I suspect the answer is yes. It’s just that now I’ll be doing it for different reasons.
It’ll be interesting to me to see what this looks like.