Winter launched it's penultimate attack on Chicagoland today, conquering our senses with a couple inches of snow. Outside, the finespun branches of our magnolia tree are smothered in it like clumsily applied mascara. On the ground the snow is melting into curious footprints as if frenzied giants charged across the backyard.
I retreated inward; noticing the colors, patterns, and textures of my space in miniature. Focusing on the pieces with a telephoto lens and appreciating our treasures. I love being first to rise in the morning--the precious few days a week when an alarm does not pierce my dreams. Peering through the windows while the coffee brews in a state of relaxation that could be interrupted at any moment; taking the moments and saturating them with simple pleasures. I grabbed the nearest notebook and wrote, rediscovering the sensuality of writing one's thoughts by hand, that intimate connection between hand, pen, page, and Self.
I've touched on my fear of words here and it was with this fear that I began writing. Why do I find it so difficult to write? Am I afraid to betray something in my words? Perpetually afraid of the fall. Afraid to betray that I am still that child who is terrified of everything and therefore has no right playing artist. What if the gradual cultivation of more literal jumps like climbing trees and riding roller coasters could transform one's proclivities in the figurative. The cultivation of Self is the modern enterprise after all. Signs telling us not to like ourselves and that if you don't like who you are just change it (or more often, that there is a product that you should purchase to be your agent of change): one's identity is fluid. Art is a means of slowing down, of acceptance and discovery. Ideally when we create we are guided by cues from within.
Life is too short to merely go with the flow, to be the sediment rolled along the bottom of the river of life ever so gradually causing the river bed to deepen. I want to be friction, energy as opposed to an inert object carried by forces greater. To swim against the current and deepen my experience or drown trying.
Be your own agent of change.
Writing, like art, is a way of finding one's equilibrium in the overwhelming nexus of ambiguity. Of making sense of the disparate thoughts which, unanchored and unexamined, weigh you down. In my literature classes it is not until I am asked to write a paper that the magic truly begins. My brain is on fire, connections are made, and everything comes together: the material and I undergo a catharsis together. At times I rely on visual modes of expression as a way to avoid thinking and as a consequence the investigation of what lies beneath and within is incomplete, a fraction of the whole. Often times when we are stuck on something, when we stop in the middle or fall short in some way it is because we are afraid of really examining, afraid of what we might find. Filling pages today brought about a peace, a knowledge that I would not have otherwise scratched at, a knowledge that is now more tangible. I am my own agent.