As we continue our journey through Martha Beck's The Joy Diet at The Next Chapter with Jamie Ridler we were invited this week to explore risk. "Every day, do at least one frightening thing that contributes to the fulfillment of your desires."
I don't have any big dramatic risks that are tugging at me at the moment. I'm in a much more contemplative place trying to figure out my next move. So, I won't be rock climbing or jumping out of a plane (although a former student of mine did just that this past week). My risks are smaller but just as seemingly inexplicable.
I have this baffling need to make art. Painting, drawing, photography, paper collage - you name it - I need to do it. I don't know why. I have no talent or training. I HAVE a god-given talent (as they say). I sing. I'm good at what I do. I get paid to do it, people come to me to teach them how to do it. So, why the hell am I painting for god sake??? I have NO idea.
These are also the risks that call to me: "Go ahead - buy that paint," "Get down on the ground to get that shot (even if people are looking)," "Take that workshop." And I did - all of it. I'm taking Carmen Torbus's Spill It workshop. There are people in this workshop who know what they are doing - I mean - they are artists. I haven't had any kind of art class since the third grade when our teacher threw a chalk board eraser at one of my classmates because his tree was "wrong." Yet, here I am posting my work right up along side of theirs. You have to be a risk taker or an idiot to do something like that!!!! Carmen and my fellow workshop participants have all been incredibly kind and supportive and I am so grateful for that.
I'm not sure where all of this is taking me. I pull at the thread of a thought that says, as I am changing, this amorphous goo in the chrysalis, what I have to say and how I say it is changing, too. I'm not sure that the visual arts will be the final incarnation of my metamorphosis but I know it will inform it. So...I paint.
PS: the item on top of my books is a really cool watercolor palette that my husband gave me years ago. He eventually took it for himself because I never used it. I still probably won't use it much. It's a little cumbersome and at the moment it's filled with his colors not mine. Reclaiming it, however, is symbolic. I acknowledge this part of myself.
(collage done for Carmen Torbus's Spill It Workshop)