Friday, May 13, 2011

About the Spark

I have finished refurbishing my web site (see it here) and am now sending announcements thereof to those people who make the sales for me. The last couple of years have been dismal business-wise but this year has begun well and I’m feeling optimistic.

My next task, to be started forthwith, will be to get ready for our annual county-wide open studio event. Today I made the list of the details involved, which are many. I am fortunate to have the help of two of my offspring for the preparations. These include some tasks for which I have little or no aptitude like matting, framing and hanging.

There are some other items on my marketing to-do list but they will have to wait. I have been too long away from the studio, have had my nose in the computer for weeks getting images of new work readied and the marketing updated. Returning to the real work after a sojourn like this will be a vacation.

I invariably have a lot to do. Too much most of the time. I have come to understand now in my dotage, that it is not life that busies me but it is how I do life. I like to be occupied. If I arrive at the dentist’s waiting room without some reading matter of my own, I will gaze unhappily at the assortment of golfing magazines and those that advise about investments and chide myself for being absent-minded. (Isn’t that a nice term? The mind absent? How like so many of my moments.) I am not good at hanging out. If I can be fairly sure that I won’t offend my hosts, I take my sewing with me. I hem pieces of fabric to make scarves; my scarf collection has grown to be an embarrassment.

I don’t understand boredom. There is so much that not only wants doing but would make for a good time. And meditation puzzles me. Why would one want to quiet one’s mind? I enjoy my thoughts. I even make myself laugh sometimes. It will be quiet enough after I croak.

I was once assaulted and did the right thing and got rid of my attacker. Afterwards it seemed as if my brain operated without me. It was over before it happened, no time to size up the situation and make a decision. My brain saved me.

And writing surprises me. I start with some topic and then this unquiet mind takes off in directions unplanned and unexpected. Painting is like that. It grows from itself. One just has to allow whatever this human spark is to take the lead. I am as grateful for still having it after all these years as I am for life itself. I encourage all of you youngsters who don’t yet qualify as elderly, to take courage and take care of yourselves. Old age isn’t as bad as it looks. Though it would be nice if it looked better.

The image above is one of the new quartets. Dusk, ©2011, 26 x 20" each, mixed media on etching paper.

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