Tag Archives: paper-mâché raven

Words on a whim – 12/10/13

The air was bitterly cold this afternoon, more so than at about 6 am, when I first went out with the dog. I should probably wear a hat to conserve heat, now that my hair is so short, and I did for a few days, but much prefer the freedom of an uncovered skull.

No hats on my head and no hats on my mind today. No. Sustenance is what occupied my mind. Not that I am hungry or anything. I have all I need. What came to mind, rather, was this: Here, in a country setting, one is almost expected to grow a garden if a patch of green is available.

As an individual who lives alone and tries to embrace a frugal lifestyle, you’d think that I’d take up gardening. As someone who eats a big salad every single day, you’d think I’d want to grow my own greens. As someone who loves nature, you’d think I’d want to dig my hands in the soil.

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Yet I have no desire to garden. I bet if I started I’d get hooked, but am not curious enough to find out. Then there is the increasingly popular notion of self-sufficiency. This makes perfect sense, of course, but I cannot imagine what it might look like should everyone decide to be completely and independently self-sufficient.

Growing crops, tending animals, canning foods, maintaining buildings and equipment, preparing food… all of this requires much time and energy. When does a writer at heart find time to write? When does an architect find time to give shape to a new design? When would even the teacher find time to teach?

As I put together a small breakfast, this morning, it suddenly occurred to me that the diversity of purpose and talents we find in the world today would be utterly impossible if we were all to be independently self-sufficient.

It is through our diversity of talents that we serve each other. If we were all busy being completely self-sufficient, there would be no time or opportunity to become individuals.

And this is what work is all about. We have lost track of this, or perhaps we are discovering it as we go, but work is not about making money to put food on the table; work is about playing our part in supporting all life by offering our diverse skills and intelligence.

Slàinte!

Words on a whim – 12/9/13

Ha! You thought I would not come back to this today, didn’t you? To be honest, I was not certain I would either.

It was a long day. One of those days when much is accomplished, but in a sort of discombobulated way, so even now, after 9 o’clock and after a late dinner eaten by the computer as I continued my work, I wonder if I have done everything.

Yet I promised myself I would set time aside for art every evening, and I have kept my promise. I turned away from the writing work and returned to the kitchen, put my dish in the sink and went to work. I did not actually use a dish. Why dirty a dish? I often eat right out of the pan, when I make something warm, that is. Steamed vegetables with tomato sauce and chicken tonight.

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I like to work standing at the kitchen counter. I sit all day, so standing for some of the time balances things out. Some years ago, someone offered me to rent a space in a studio for my artwork. I did not understand the concept. Why should I pay rent for supplies shelves and a table when I already have this right here? So, I don’t have a conventional artist’s “atelier.” Then again, I do. My home is my workshop.

I set up a slicing board on the counter, as usual, and went to work finishing two more ravens for Ornament Studio. I painted them black yesterday, and today I secured each bird to its pedestal and began painting the beaks and eyes. Almost done. Just waiting for the base coat in the eyes to dry so I can add color.

As I do this, many ideas filter through my mind; ideas for new pouches, new boxes, perhaps even new paper-mâché animals. But I stop myself. All in good time. My days of working on ten items at once are over. In fact, I find I am better at keeping up a good inventory now that I pace myself. Something I learned in time. A long time. Or is it age?

Yes. It’s must be something more than just experience. There is a sort of biological transformation at play. It is not only the mind that decides what works and what does not. There is a body intelligence at play too. And this is not even about feeling old, but rather about feeling in tune with a more serene pace.

There is no rush. The only way to get things done is not by racing with time or ideas, but by giving our attention to the moment and making progress right there and then.

Slàinte!