Here are two observations that seem somehow relevant:
-There are two kinds of pool players, those that play better when they feel they need to win and those that play better when they don’t care whether they win or not.
-There are people who will read every book they start to the end, even if they hate it, and people with stacks of books with bookmarks around page 50.
And seven ideas that inform my practice:
Materials. It always starts with the materials. There has to be some allure in the physical realm. Something that keeps me entranced. Then it’s a conversation. Make the first move, there then see what it’s asking for. Try to be a good listener. You never know where the reply might come from. Maybe it’s from someone else or from a mistake. Sometimes it’s just the most obvious move, sometimes you have to try all the puzzle pieces before one fits.
Bite sized pieces. Preferably ones that have some built in limit to how much you can mess with them. Probably an attempt to circumvent getting anxious about the big picture by attending to the parts. By the time the whole comes into focus, I’m more than halfway through and it’s all downhill from there. Mostly.
Counterpoint/duality. If there’s any underlying idea that keeps popping up or sneaking in, it’s some kind of meeting/melting of opposites. Public/private, chaos/order, above ground/below, center/no center, funny/creepy, pretty/pretty gross.
Chance. I’ll never be as good of an artist as nature with some time and weather. I can only attempt to emulate the beauty of things and their natural interactions. Try to provide a frame to view the chaos. To be some sort of agent of the natural. Some element of chance, free of my helicopter parenting, is essential.
Analysis. Sometimes meanings come later. What was I trying to tell myself? Were there bigger concepts that were present in a series? Sometimes it’s quick, sometimes it’s years or even decades before I figure it out. Sometimes I don’t. Sometimes I figure it out too soon and then it goes to live in the stack of books with the bookmarks.
Wonder. There are still the pieces that get me, that catch me off guard and I just get sucked in. Sometimes there’s a new aspect that I’d not noticed, sometimes I just stare for the same old no reason at all. That is what really keeps me making.
Home. It doesn’t happen all the time, but every now and then a piece makes it’s way to it’s place in the world, where someone sees more in it than I ever could. Like I’m just where the rubber meets the road, and somehow the world or universe allowed a tiny bit of itself to slough off through me to find them and connect. I kinda live for that.