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Archive for December 1st, 2005

Quote of Creative Encouragement

Thursday, December 1st, 2005

print by LynnHI love quotations. When I have time, I collect them. I once put together several pages of favorite quotes, nestled inside my very plain-looking but bursting-with-words LDTH Poetry Collection (a web page I put together many years ago, perhaps 1997).

Lately I feel like my life is in flux, but I am not sure in which direction it is moving. I don’t know what to focus on next.

Things are good, I’m bursting with creativity, I have loved ones surrounding me and great places to work. Yet for some reason I think I can ***KNOW*** what I should do next. That somehow I can figure out the exact right thing to do today, tomorrow, the next day. But a creative person can never know anything for sure… probably no human can, creative or not.

One thing I am not, is lazy. I work myself hour after hour, almost the whole time I am awake. I love my work so this usually pleases me.

However, I am frequently not efficient, and I am often not well-focused. When I am in a good emotional space, this feels OK to me. I follow my muse, I do things like making a skirt from a sweater or sending embellished wig heads through the US mail system… and following that odd muse can give me much joy! Who knows, maybe it will inspire someone else to follow their own muse? I hope so.

On bad days (especially those gray-sky gloomy winter days such as we have had this week), I think I need to be more like someone else. I am sure that if I only could think like an accountant, if I could somehow see the balance of my life all at once in my mind, if I only knew what would be best… well, that my life would be manageable.

But passionate people always have more to do than fits in 24-hour days. And you can not buy passion! Which I say to others all the time, but when it is cold and dreary outdoors I forget my own advice.

So then today I find this quote from Alan Alda on my near-archival web page, Quotes on Artful Living:

Be brave enough to live life creatively

The creative is the place where
no one else has ever been.
You have to leave the city of
your comfort and go into
the wilderness of your intuition.
You can’t get there by bus,
only by hard work and risk,
and by not quite knowing what you are doing.
What you will discover will be wonderful.
What you discover will be yourself.
       Alan Alda

Dang! “…not quite knowing what you are doing.” I guess I’m just where I need to be.

Image today is a blockprint I made on soft blocks/erasers, many years ago. I used four different print blocks in all, to make this image.


Thursday, December 1st, 2005

garden in Karen, Nairobi, KenyaI have been doing some clean up on my computer and blog. I can not help but notice the posts and emails I got from Max the American guy (as compared to Max the Canadian woman who also writes to me). He and I never met, but we corresponded because of my involvement as a “Friend of Men Who Knit.”

As part of my current focus on maintenance, I have been glancing over my past blog posts. When I wrote here just over a year ago that I was going on a trip to Africa, Max wrote to me in support. In fact, this is what he said:

“Ahh, Life is a banquet, and you my friend are definitely partaking of the feast!”

Life went on. I had my trip and returned.

Then I got an email from Max August 17 saying he had been diagnosed with cancer. He declined to go into detail about his diagnosis other than to say that it was terminal and his time was already near.

And he passed away in mid-October. He was buried October 17, only two months after he sent me the note. It seems somehow soothing to me to read his lively note of support today. He *did* truly get it, that life was a banquet.

Today I was in a moody state of mind (winter does that to me). Funny how Max could turn my thoughts around even though he’s not of this earth any more.

Thanks, Max. What a friend you can be. Even now.

Remember, my friends… life can be short. Tell someone you love them today. It may feel odd to say it if you haven’t said so before, but you do not want to wish you had said something, when it becomes too late for words. I only wish I did not know this firsthand.

Photo: Garden in Karen, Nairobi, Kenya. The passage opens into yet another garden. It seems the right photo for this post…