Mirror, Mirror…

October 23rd, 2012

My old friend Bob took this photo of me reflected in the amazing Cloud City installation on the rooftop of the Metropolitan Museum of Art when I was staying in NYC. We had just finished touring the made-me-gasp Warhol exhibit, and I was feeling overwhelmed by creativity and undone by my lack of it right now. Being caught in this maze of mirrors was so apt in terms of how trapped I’ve been feeling and yet how I am yearning to be set free. Surrounded by stunning examples of art almost every day in New York forced me to confront my own laziness, the all-too-quick surrender to a “why bother” state of mind. Why bother to try and paint because someone else will do it better. Why bother to write down my thoughts because they are so pedestrian. Why bother to look for a new challenge because I’m just too old. I hate the passivity that is just another form of resistance on my part — it’s always so much easier not to do, to come up with a hundred reasons not to bother. If I take anything away from my trip to New York, I hope it will be that no attempt to make art is ever wasted effort. That the longing and the trying are themselves forms of prayer and states of grace.

4 Responses to “Mirror, Mirror…”

  1. I fall prey to the Why Bother state of mind too. Yes, I tell myself all the right things about creating as a state of grace and a process. I tell myself to create for the sake of creating and not to dwell on who notices or appreciates what I do. But often as I put heart and soul into blog posts and projects and find them turned loose into a world that doesn’t seem to care about my “voice” or what I have to say, it’s hard. If the work is personal, the rejection or lack of acknowledgement feels personal too. So then I retreat to creating things I care less about and berate myself for being mundane and not taking risks. Sigh. A long way of saying, I hear you.

  2. nikki says:

    I hate that we struggle so with this!

  3. ginny says:

    A new friend suggested your blog to me. I was just meditating over my neurosis of this very thing this morning. It gives me not only great comfort to hear your voice on this matter, but also encourages me to not get hung up on it. Creativity lives with sensitivity – the two cannot be separated, this is the reason we care and feel emotions when we hear music and see art and read stories. Longing makes life beautiful and worth living. You “bothered” to write about “why bother” and now just look what you’ve done…you’ve given me a light for my day. Thank you, Nikki – I’m also a big Skirt fan though we no longer have it in my area. Hope it will return some day.

  4. nikki says:

    Thank you so much!!!

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