I’m re-reading an invaluable book, CREATING A LIFE WORTH LIVING, which was written by Carol Lloyd, the founder of The Writing Parlor and the Life Worth Living workshops.
Over the years since I first read it in 2011 it has kept me focused on integrating my propensities for Making into a regular, ordinary sort of life. It is an ongoing process, always.
As she was putting together her book, Lloyd interviewed a slew of creative people and picked their brains about how they do what they do.
In an interview with performance artist Chris Wink who was part of a New York-based theater group which was a collaboration of three artists, there was this thing:
“If you’re going to create something, the first step isn’t to start creating something, it’s to create the process,” Wink says. “…tending to the vessel and shaping it into what it’s going to be is really important.”
The “process” is a matter of making room in your life to create whatever it is you want to make. It is about finding the space and the time and it’s about choosing how you’re going to move forward towards your goals.
Another IPS (Inner Peace Symptom): an understanding that by eliminating what doesn’t matter you can do more of what does. [Following your own heartsong matters. It’s a good thing to make room for it.]
TENDING TO THE PROCESS
For the past month or so I’ve been working on clearing out the workspaces in my little house, re-organizing and de-cluttering them so that I can see what’s there and see the resources I have on hand.
Even more importantly, I have been clearing my head and seeing where I am going with all this dancing about.
I have been looking at how well my Making has been integrated into the rest of my life and tweaking the places where there are glitches or downright knotted and tangled bits, trying to get to smooth.
I am seeing how I need to make blocks of time available so I can actually sit down and make a something without having to worry about needing to be someplace else.
I am also clearing away all the non-essential stuff that clutters up my calendar with distractions from this thing I’ve declared is most important to me: making stories, making art, and making meaning.
I’ve deliberately turned away from perfectly good opportunities for me to practice skills I’ve developed that lead me away from what I am calling “Flying My Falcon.”
I am setting up routines and rituals that help keep my energy flowing so that I have the wherewithal to actually make something worthwhile.
I am touching base again with the attitudes, the heart-people and heart-places that are valuable to me because they help pump up the wellspring that powers my Falcon-flying.
It is always an ongoing thing, this tending to your process. It’s easy sometimes to get so caught up in the day-to-day crises and fumbles and stumbles that the thing you want most to manifest sort of fades away into the ethers somehow.
SHAPING THE VESSEL
The following YouTube Video, 8 Artists: Advice to the Young, was published by the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art’s Louisiana Channel. The video montage has snippets from interviews with Serbian performance artist Marina Abramovich, South African artist William Kentridge, rock singer and poet Patti Smith, American singer David Byrne, German film director Wim Wenders, Danish-Islandic artist Olafur Eliassan and British artists Dinos and Jake Chapman.
It’s wise and warm and a very nice space to put your head. And that’s another part of creating process…
If you want to listen to the full interviews for these and other artists who are equally inspiring, CLICK HERE.
Here’s a poem:
I am making myself,
Day by day by day.
The choices I make, the moves I do
Create the conditions around me
As I play in the World,
As I play with all the other peeps
Who are all busy
Making their own selves too.
There are those who say there is a Creator,
An enormous amorphous being who
Personally had a hand in the making of me,
Who continues to oversee my days
Who notices every time I fall down,
Who apparently is the archetypical Control Freak Extraordinaire
Since this non-gendered One apparently feels a need
To direct my every move.
I find that…scary.
When I try to be the one herding lemming-folk
Who are determined on self-destruction,
Or are just plain oblivious to dangers and sharp teeth,
There’s a certain point where I drown
In the details involved in taking each one in hand
And guiding every one of their steps,
Soothing away the hurt of every bump.
I notice that it never helps the lemming-folk grow,
This interference of mine.
Their sleepwalking apparently deepens.
They still fall off cliffs.
They run headlong into crocodiles and things.
They pick up hammers and whack themselves on their own foreheads.
They blindly blunder into each other and bonk each other in the jaw.
Meanwhile, I go nuts,
Stuck on a meaningless treadmill of
Amoeba-like action/reaction ad infinitum.
I would not wish that state of being on any creature…
Especially not the one who put together all the wondrousness of the Universe!
Myself, I think the Dude/Dudette or Whatever
Just placed a spark of Itself into everything alive,
And each sparklet likes to play.
So they do.
And that’s how the Universe got born,
And that’s how it keeps going.
Me, I think I’ll just keep trying to keep my sparklet going strong.
I figure it’s the best way I can help out….
by Netta Kanoho
Picture credit: Intention 1 by Teddy Llovet via Flickr [CC-BY-NC 2.0]
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