Wednesday, May 2, 2007

The Hodge Podge

I'm sitting at Starbuck's, revisiting my book draft. Adding. Taking away. Editing. And I realize how much stuff I've written over the years and how I just want to print it all off and spread it around on the floor. Surround myself with it. Immerse myself in it. Cut and paste it like a kindergartener doing a collage. As much as I enjoy the feel of my fingers on these computer keys, there is something so lovely about paper and pen. Red ink marking up pages. Scissors cutting away the excess. Writhing hands crumpling up the rejects. I want to feel this in my body. I want it to run through me. To feel it in every corner of my soul. Somehow my Macbook doesn't really cut it.

I've been taking an art class for the past few weeks. It's become this therapeutic look into my soul. Into what motivates me. Into my fears around expression, around creation. Shit I didn't even know was there is coming up through the charcoal, through the pastels, through the paints, onto white bits of paper. I don't consider myself a visual artist by any means, but the process of creation is the same, whether you're writing, painting, programming, making food, making a baby or making a life. Along the way you discover yourself. You lose yourself. You hate yourself. You love yourself. You are terrified. Angry. At one with the world. All alone. Connected and detached. You create. You destroy. And once in a while something comes through your soul that you feel satisfied with. For the moment.

The class art instructor invites us over and over to destroy in order to create. To scratch over, paint over, cut up or crumple up what we've made and see what it looks like from its destroyed state. And to revisit, renew and recreate. It was difficult at first. You become so attached to your creation. It's hard to let go. You think "this is the most wonderful thing I've ever done." And then you scratch over it, wash it over with black or white paint and see something completely different. Life's like that. The fine balance of letting go and holding on. Knowing what to keep and what to paint over. What is really the best you can do and when you can do better. I'm learning.

tall penguin

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