Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Know your own bone

I've been formulating some ideas for new work, and I have to admit, I'm thinking, this is really goofy, why am I doing this, and have I lost my mind? But on the other hand, it feels so right. I am having so much fun watching the work unfold in surprising ways, even as I wrestle with it. I encounter stops and starts - one idea might bloom into another, while yet another idea withers on the vine. And sometimes no ideas materialize at all. It is such a fascinating process, this unfolding of creativity.

Annie Dillard writes, "You were made and set here to give voice to this, your own astonishment. The most demanding part of living a lifetime as an artist is the strict discipline of forcing oneself to work steadfastly along the nerve of one's one's most intimate sensitivity." And Thoreau, the original Follow Your Bliss cheerleader, wrote "Know your own bone: gnaw at it, bury it, unearth it, and gnaw it still." That spark of astonishment is what thrills me - it's the carrot that dangles in front of my artistic nose and keeps me at the grindstone. Or gnawing at that bone.

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