Day 2, July 10, 2021
So today I went to Floor & Decor and bought 30 white ceramic tiles, 10 each of three different shapes – 4” by 4”, 10” by 4”, and 12” by 3”, and came to the studio. Step one - clean the workspace. Put away all old projects, half-finished relics, tools, supplies. I junked the stuff I don't like, and yes, I pulled up the watercolor I taped-down a year and a half ago when we first moved into the studio space.
I'm not junking it, just not finishing it now. I did consider finishing it, but it seemed wrong to work on something (AKA create art) that my heart isn't into when I am so excited to start the new project. So, I pulled it up and re-taped it out of the way. I gave myself a big, clear space to create in, then took a 10” by 4” tile out of its wrapping.
Instantly I knew what I wanted to do... a decoupage photo, a sand frame, beach glass, a rock, and my favorite find – the glass top of a bottle. Don't know what kind, but not your average bottle - maybe a fancy decanter. The globe-like top is made of 2 separate layers of glass, with a hollow inside. All of it is still intact, though the glass has been rocked white by its journey.
How long did it float in Lake Michigan before it came to rest on the beach in Rogers Park? Where did it come from? How many miles did it travel to make art with me? Well now it's in my first piece of this 30-day project.
It makes me think of the many miles I’ve traversed – hills, valleys, mountains - through terrain I couldn't have known would come my way - to wind up in this moment - starting a new art project. But more than that, beginning again, taking off on a 30-day quest to rediscover my whole self, my six selves, and in the process create art, writing, new possibilities, and ways to communicate.
As I type this on April 1, 2022, I see this last sentence is backward and want to correct it for the record – the 30-day quest was to walk to the beach, beachcomb, create art, and write about the experience. It was not about rediscovering myself and the six selves within. But here’s the thing – On day 2 of this project I could already read between the lines. The behavior I set out to do for 30 days was only the surface layer of many. Nine months later I’m still discovering new layers...!
This first piece feels like FREEDOM - summer and water and beach - sweat and sun and letting go of the worried child inside, to open myself up and play for mortal stakes. It’s the Robert Frost poem - Two Tramps in Mud Time, the stanza that I love so much :
But yield who will to their separation,
My object in living is to unite
My avocation and my vocation
As my two eyes make one in sight.
Only where love and need are one,
And the work is play for mortal stakes,
Is the deed ever really done
For Heaven and the future's sakes.
This is me...
Acting on the idea that came yesterday,
not shying away from the commitment,
acknowledging the fear,
and doing it anyway.
I'm not letting this idea slip through my fingers and float away to land in someone else’s hands.
This is mine. I'm keeping it. I'm gonna fly free with it.
FOR YOUR CONSIDERATION...
Name a fear that keeps you from doing something important to you. Can you acknowledge the fear but do it anyway?