The crows outside our home in the giant beech trees were numerous and truly magnificent yesterday. Just the few photos and bit of video I shot feels like it could provide art fodder for months – and while I don’t have a lot of extra brain-space for artmaking at the moment, I am collecting bits and pieces and imagining constructions of paper, textile, text, stitch and yarn.
Something sticking with me these days is the following exchange that took place at the end of meditation retreat in November:
Student:”I have too many things going on in my life, what should I give up?”
Teacher: “You should give up the feeling that you have too many things going on in your life.
I’m riding with that. Rather than feeling overwhelmed by the “too many things” I am recognizing that my attention is focused where I want it to be right now – we give priority to what currently matters, and that the idea that we “should” be doing something different with our time (or not doing as much) is just another problematic construct. And while that is true, it is also important to sit quietly as often as possible to let the priorities filter through. And so I am busy, but I am sitting every morning. I have full days, but there are always special moments with Brian – every day – for cuddling and love affirmation. My schedule is wall to wall, but it is full of social events, learning activity, community building, and as much making-work as I can fit in (even if it’s on the margins sometimes).
So right now I am not making art, but I am making life every day – showing up in the spirit of living as much as I can.
I had a meditation teacher who likened our internal critical voice to crows. Pick, pick, pick – he said – that’s what we’re like when we judge ourselves and others. I’m taking that to heart as much as I can. Keeping the crows outside where they belong. In the trees above our house.