I’m member of a mutual support group called the ‘Daily Creative Practice’ and this week’s (#11) Funday Blog Prompt is … from Peter London’s book “No More Secondhand Art”:
1) Think of a constellation of character traits that make you who you are whether it is a quality like patience or impatience or a proclivity for eating oysters and admiring cephalopods. Write them down. Explore. Surprise yourself.
Reading through this funday blog prompt my first reaction is resistance. I don’t want to do it. But I do. I’m signed up to do funday blog prompt #13 and I don’t want to ‘parachute in,’ with my prompt without ever having participated. But there’s #12 I whisper to myself. Not good enough I say to myself. I need (want?) to feel like I belong, that I’ve contributed some how … that I’ve done what it is I’m asking us to do. Walk the talk is one way of looking at it.
PUNCTURAL / Late / On time enough to be within the cultural appropriate boundaries
Does this tell you all you need to know? In a nonjudgemental, neutral descriptive way I’d say of myself – I have a tendency to be late, or late/on time in culturally appropriate ways. I can be punctual, and when I am, I’m crisp sharp on time, or too early. Too early is good for events and classes, there’s always some preparation, or things to fix or move. Without a duty or ‘responsibility’ to see to, there is a danger however that I will amuse myself with something completely ordinary, get caught up in the moment and become ‘late’.
I like being on the edges of groups, yet only if I feel appreciated. Being on the margins and feeling excluded, misunderstood or disparaged is not an empowering feeling. Though it can be the source of amazing sparks of change. The margins I mean is the outsider, the visitor, or one who is different. It’s a role I’m familiar with having lived half of my life outside my home country. Because of this position and the type of work I do and people I meet I am a bridge-builder and networker. I bring people and ideas together to do things, which are at best fun and succesful in nudging us forward the tiniest bit towards a better world.
I want to be allowed the space to be different, yet still valued. Fluidity. My identity and sense of belonging is fluid. Because in some moments I also recognise that I am (shock, horror!) the mainstream, playing a role in perpetuating ‘nonsense’ and keeping others down. In other words holding the margins back. My identity is fluid. Is it also blurry, cloudy, opaque? Probably only to myself when I don’t see my own privilege or social rank. That is usually quite clear to others.
2) Being present to these thoughts of yourself, wander about your home environment, inside, outside, and around your neighborhood. Be on the lookout for objects that represent these character traits in some way. Meander without determination. Be open to what object speaks to you. Wait for the appropriate object to appear. Again, allow yourself to be surprised. Perhaps the object will pick you! Choose 6 to 12 objects.
Gathering objects out and about today
GIRL blowing bubbles
For three years I lived a one minute walk from where I live now. #88. Today on my walk with dog, opposite the old house I saw a little girl (about age 8), dressed in red sari and with head covering. A purple smack of of head band peeked out from under her veil. She was blowing bubble. I love bubbles. I wanted to use some in an art installation the other week, but didn’t have any or time to buy.
The bubbles caught my eye. And the girl. She looked wild, happy. Yet like she’d be happier blowing her bubbles in a mountain meadow. I saw her again later, her family (I’d assume) was moving recycling out of the house. She was sweeping that front bit of the house, the English call a ‘yard’. In that moment she looked like she fit there perfectly. The good daughter doing her chore.
FIGHT the system or be the change?
While I walked I thought about this article I had read before going out, (Should we fight the system or be the change). This is the work I do, and the dilemma I face. Though I definitely prefer building the alternative work, there is –sadly– a lot to protest about these days. This clash (protest versus proposal to simplify it) also binds and blocks groups I work with. And I wonder, why can’t we just all appreciate that ‘none of us can do everything, but we all can do something’ and celebrate what gets done. Let’s not be critical of each other, it’s the same struggle and fight.
Hurrah people who lobby and circulate petitions! And hurrah direct action activists who make direct interventions with body and soul to stop injustices! Hurrah good citizens! The important thing is to make the links between our choices and health and well-being, both individually and of the wider world.
Tarot card reading. I have been doing readings since 1994, though not very well. It is always a worthwhile though, otherwise I wouldn’t still be doing it. When I came home, I then helped (I hope) a friend with discerning a career choice.
I am so grateful for the dog in my life and the time we spend each day outside, connecting with nature. Today was a landmark day in 2014: it was the first day warm enough to take my shoes off and walk barefoot. Grass therapy I call it.
The song line up made me smile, and feel a bit old.
3) Find a site to place your objects. Think about the quality of light, space, and background. What resonates with your body as you move from place to place. Find the place that is just right for whatever reasons.
this blog display is my placement of the objects
4) Arrange your objects within the space you have just found. Ask yourself how you want to arrange these objects. Have the goal be whatever makes you breathe easier and relaxes your muscles. Find a way to place your metaphoric objects in whatever way that expresses yourself naturally.
ditto, not applicable because I didn’t do step 3
5) The culmination of this creative exercise is this next step: Acknowledging that your subconscious has been at work selecting the metaphoric objects, choosing the space, and making the arrangement, you are now asked to summon your rational dimension. Using your intellect, write about the meanings of your objects, their arrangements, and why they exist in this space that you have chosen. You are welcome to complete as many steps of this exercise as you like.
Thank you! for the invitation “to complete as many steps of this exercise as you like” that is probably one of the things that opened me up to considering doing the exercise. That and a curiosity about my resistance.
Right now though, rather than ‘say more’ it’s time for a bit of silence and reflection I think.