Thursday, September 8, 2011

Unknown Destinations

....Marigolds in becomes night...

Our lives are built on a foundation of unfinished projects, it seems.... the winter quilt I began five years ago, the drawings I intended to render into paintings, the ingredients lining the basement shelves meant to be made into pies and cakes, the mosaic pieces of broken teacups and bowls meant to adorn a tray.... all unfinished projects And there are also the 'completed' projects that are not truly complete until I give them wings and send them into the world. Shall I be haunted by these unfinished creative shapes that hide in the corners of my house and heart? Or be inspired by them?

I've always identified myself as an artist but perhaps I am more an explorer than anything else. Perhaps I am not an artist after all, but a mapmaker. I make complex, emotional maps, complete with legends and directions; where to find this or that; what kind of terrain to expect; protective clothing to wear; gear that may come in handy. Maybe my purpose in life never has been to accomplish things but rather to map the process of the creative journey 'When did I feel rattled to my core? When did I thrill at the discovery of a new view? When did I find myself injured and when did I find myself healed? When did it make sense to step out into a boat and explore the oceans and when did it seem necessary to remain on safe, dry land?' These are the relevant questions of my arts practice. Sometimes I reach my destination, sometimes not. Either way, I've left markers on the way for others who may wish to set foot onto similar territory. (Keeping in mind that those 'others' may find it more useful to create their own maps).

However, as I write this, I do have to wonder if this notion of map-making is actually an avoidance or an excuse for avoiding the hard work of pushing something out into the world. But what about those times when pushing something out into the world resembles a bulldozer smashing trees and wildlife and anything else in its path? In that case, is it not better to keep something close to home; safely stored in my pocket? At least I can be assured that I have not placed myself or others in harm's way. unknown destination... open eyes...whispering dreams.


  1. I like your thoughts on map-making .. I'm kind-of the other side of that coin - where you make maps to chart a course that you hope to take, I make maps and diagrams of where I've been - and then continue to blunder blindly through life ..

  2. I blunder too. Trust me. The map making somehow distracts us, I suppose, from feeling lost. But feeling lost seems to be part and parcel with being alive.

  3. well, I must be fully alive, then, because I don't know that I've ever felt more lost!