Monday, June 6, 2011

A Space Between Clouds, Radiance

Suddenly an abundance.  Even on a grey day, a space between clouds, a radiance.  

We've been busy preparing for Rob's upcoming show. Today he's varnishing, painting the edges, framing the work.  Tomorrow he'll likely take a couple of trips driving the paintings to the gallery.  Then on Thursday he has an interview with a local arts reporter.  We've been trying to get the word out so that opening day is an excellent party.  If you're in Edmonton, please come.  : )  As for me, I've been making sure R's CV is up-to-date, getting his images to the right people, making a small catalogue of his book paintings, updating his blog and website, writing emails and sending out e-vites.  This all takes up a surprising amount of time and mental space, though I do enjoy doing it all.  There's stress - but it's all a happy/hopeful sort of stress even if it is intermingled with abject terror and a caffeinated nervousness.

A friend of ours came over yesterday, bringing the above bust of a Dutch Girl for our garden.  Everyone should have such a friend - always calming and soothing and beautiful.  A treat to be with.  When she leaves we all feel content, happy.  I'm always quite amazed that someone has known me for over twenty years and still seems to like me : )

Meanwhile, I have been sneaking out into the garden, reveling in the light and new growth.  Trying to meditate, center myself.  I've been revisiting Annie Dillard.  From The Writing Life:

"One of the few things I know about writing is this:  spend it all, shoot it, play it, lose it, all, right away, every time.  Do not hoard what seems good for a later place in the book, or for another book: give it, give it all, give it now.  The impulse to save something good for a better place later is the signal to spend it now.  Something more will arise for later, something better.  These things fill from behind, from beneath, like well water.  Similarly, the impulse to keep to yourself what you have learned is not only shameful, it is destructive.  Anything you do not give freely and abundantly becomes lost to you.  You open your safe and find ashes."

I think this is probably the single most important piece of writing advice I've ever read.  And it works for any creative process or anyone making art. 

It's interesting how you can go for an entire week and see nothing that moves you to pick up the camera. Then in one day - everything looks worthy, beautiful, unusual.  It's also like this with writing.  You can stare at the screen, at the pages of a notebook for days upon days.  Then a pouring forth occurs.  It's possible to feel guilty or suspicious of all the outflowing.  I've learned to just let it happen, receive, receive.  

The lilacs are blooming now, as is the snowball bush. The mock plum and Evan's cherry tree are done, as are the apple trees.  And after all the trees have done blooming, there will be flowers, filling from behind. 

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