Monday, February 11, 2008

Objects of Attention

It felt calming and absorbing to quietly start working on a new Pages piece yesterday. Doesn't this picture just LOOK meditative? With two previous Pages constructions and two Parables pieces under my belt, I altered my original ideas for this piece and yesterday started laying out the base structure on the water soluble Solvy. I'm planning a horizontal orientation and open spaces on this one. Just the beginning -- more to come as this evolves!

As I arrange and glue each piece, numerous ideas for the composition emerge-- make the openings larger, smaller, orient them vertically rather than horizontally, vary the fabrics to create another pattern, silkscreen over them, etc etc. As ideas pop in, I keep my sketchbook nearby to record them. I am learning to not leap to follow new ideas impulsively without allowing some time for consideration. What doesn't make it to this surface will have its chance on another one.

Other, more philosophical thoughts travel through my mind as well. These contemplations have been a part of me for as long as I can remember and for many years I faithfully journaled every day (starting at the age of 12, isn't that amazing??). My writings often explored deeper questions about our purposes and meaning on this earth -- I've always been drawn to the big picture. Lately, I seem to be returning to these subjects with a stronger sense of personal involvement. I feel as though there is a shift taking place in the world and I sense it and want to be a conscious participant in helping this positive energy renew our planet. I joined Caroline Myss's Online Salon (, receive her monthly newsletter and have signed up to receive the Abraham-Hicks daily messages ( Today's excerpt is:

The reason for desires, goals...for finding those decisions or points of focus, is because they are the life-giving things of the Universe. Without objects of attention, or objects of desire, Life Force does not come through any of us. --- Abraham

I like these terms, "points of focus "and "objects of attention"-- they describe how my own creative process works. Focusing my energies on small and larger goals helps me sort out what rings true from what doesn't; it truly is life-giving and affirming to collect my energy and focus my attention on positive and desirable outcomes. I start by exploring a number of possible ideas until my intention becomes very clear and specific in my mind. I gather and sort choices and then -- most important -- make a commitment to action.

In my previous creative life as a fiction writer, I loved Natalie Goldberg's advice in "Writing Down the Bones," advising a daily freewriting practice she called "showing up at the page." It means basically, don't just talk or think about creating, do it. A writer has to write words, an artist has to create images. Artistic growth and the realization of our abilities is in the act of doing. My commitment is to action, no matter how small a time I have to engage in doing -- even ten minutes a day can produce a novel or a painting after enough ten-minute sessions. My intentions are to express my creativity as fully and as fearlessly as I can. This intention and commitment to action does connect me with that wellspring of energy, that "Life Force." I treasure the moments when I feel that energy move through me.

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