Sunday, January 8, 2012

Of Wisdom and the Lack Thereof

So it's January--that time of evaluation and re-evaluation: everything's new and everything's still depressingly and reassuringly the same. I was going to look back on what I had actually accomplished last year, where I had traveled in my quilting journey but got smacked by one of those why-am-I-doing-this and just-who-does-she-think-she-is moments. The project I was working on was not going well--not going well at all, yet there was a deadline looming, along with a couple of others that required me to get started on other projects.  I had tried a new technique on this project, as I am so often doing, and had begun to believe that I had finally skated onto such thin ice that it was cracking under me.

Much of what I am doing is not in my comfort zone. I was never the popular extrovert when I was young and I became expert at following the rules in school.  I did teach classes of eighteen-and-up-year-olds and hosted large gatherings in other jobs I held but neither involved the self-revelation that writing a journal blog or making art does. And I don't have an art degree that says that at least somebody thinks I am qualified at all this.

And why do I feel the need to break the rules? I even break the blogging rules by writing posts that are much too long. Perhaps, as I have gotten older, I have come to mistrust certainty and well worn paths that always come with lots of rules. Yet certainty sings a siren song.

My husband, who is a wise person (and also a wise ass, but that's another story), reminded me that, if I am looking for myself, I need to accept what I find, and part of me is the unsure part, the part that questions what I am doing and why I am doing it, and that also becomes part of the work I create.

All of this has brought to mind the two words I chose at the beginning of last year--dare and dance--which have worked magic several times and still have some usefulness left in them because I obviously haven't learned all their lessons.
There is always going to be a bit of daring in the next steps I take, if they are really my own--and I, being who I am, will question every step. That's the way it's gonna be. Just gotta learn to dance to those rhythms.

In the middle of writing this post, I took a break to take Terra on a walk and there in the middle of our path was this dandelion, blooming its little heart out. Now it has been a bit warm around here but it is still January.
--Poor deluded thing-- I said to myself . Here obviously was a sign from the gods about the foolishness of those who break the rules, who try to create beauty or meaning in the off season. But then I noticed this about two feet away:
Now that little dandelion may be laughing all the way to the gene pool at all those other dandelions who are following the rules and waiting for spring.

And if you are still reading, thanks for the company!


Diane said...

I enjoy your longish posts and your sharing your journey. I was a shy rule follower in school too.
I tend to write long posts. I didn't know I was breaking a rule in doing so. ha! I feel pretty good about that actually.
Keep going with your art it's important.

quilthexle said...

What comes to my mind is - That's what rules are for ! breaking them, pushing at them - it's the only way to evolve. As Kelly Rae taught us: the only way is through. Of course, that's not always the nice and easy way ... but I find that IF I push through the issues ahead, it's worth the effort almost always. And your work is so unique and beautiful, I think the same is true for you?
By the way: I LOVE your long posts, and I would be very sad if you would stop writing them ;-))

IHaveANotion ~ Kelly Jackson said...

Nature will show us the way....what a wonderful discovery.

I think the journey you are on is one that only people with great courage embark upon.

By the way....who needs a degree to do what they love and what naturally flows from them. The word art or artist is just a word...I substitute create and might want to do that too.

Keep on keepin on!


louise said...

When you carry your camera you catch those fleeting moments. I walk the dog and feel bad every time I miss an opportunity like that but I love the experience that will fade with time. There are no rules of nature but we can explain why things are haphazard, just because! When you reflected back on your journey last year, I recently also asked myself a similar question, where am I going and why and how long it would last? How long is the scarriest of them. There is passion and challenge now but if I lose that where am I? Why is there the yin and yang, just because?

Jen Kuhn said...

Well I like your long posts! Your husband is indeed wise (like mine in more than one way): at the end of the day you do the best you can and it is what it is. I do enjoy January, as it is the one month in which I feel really aware of what I am doing and why. I love those dandilions. My bees were out last week and made me think the same thing....nature sometimes just goes with the flow. Not a bad thing.