I have completed the first month of my 2012 project. Some curious things have happened. I had anticipated more cynicism and wry humor from this project, as an artist marooned in suburbia, trying to make sense of my identity and my place in this often ill-fitting context. But in the process of drawing, writing, and making art about the simple things in my daily life, I have been overcome by a tidal wave of gratitude for all the good that is around me. I have surprised myself. The daily habit of scribbling on bits of paper, accumulating small creative acts with a focused intention, and holding myself accountable each week to observe and respond to what is happening in front of me has yielded unforeseen rewards. In the spirit of physics formulas (happily re-discovered last week while reminiscing about my Dad helping me with my science homework,) I have discovered a natural law for my life:
(a + g)c = H
a= Awareness, g= Gratitude, c= Creative action, H= Happiness
In words: Awareness plus Gratitude, multiplied by Creative Action equals Happiness.
In the process of writing this blog, I have reached out to old friends, and made new ones. I have something positive to talk about when I meet new people. With a creative structure in place in my life, I wake up knowing I will have a creative day, instead of regretting all the unfocused, unfinished, or undone projects of the past. I remembered how much I enjoy writing, and find myself saying things I have always wanted to say. (See Ode to My Father.) When I have ideas, I have somewhere meaningful to put them: in a new post, on a piece of paper destined for a new collage, on a painted panel. I am discovering there is always enough time for these things, and the old excuses and imaginary barriers have crumbled away. It is not always easy or comfortable to maintain this flow, and sometimes there is a tricky balance between just living my life and creating things about living my life. But so far, it is working.