Some people who might otherwise be artists, or merely more productive, turn their creative talents elsewhere because they cannot tolerate being alone for extended periods. Anna Held Audette
I am guilty as charged.
My life since settling into own studio
has been fraught with disturbance in
forms I did not foresee.
And might have willfully rejected if I’d known they were coming on this journey.
Is it ever honorable to avoid creating, practicing, playing at your chosen craft or tackle a hard task? Of course.
There are a thousand times when you can righteously say “no” to the work. But there are as many times when you must righteously say “yes.” Between the two there is no time left ever to say “maybe.”
When you do say “yes,” where will you be? Completely alone.
In order to start, an artist must invite in and be able to tolerate active aloneness.
To be actively alone means to be belligerent, alive, ecstatic, afraid, on your feet, wired, doubtful, upset, fired up, and all the rest. It means that mistakes are about to happen. It means that contradictory ideas will engulf you, and confrontation will occur. Solitude is not a luxury
I’m not exploring the depths of pity here
or plumbing for empathetic condolences.
I’ve offered enough of those to myself.
And thank God for compassionate, patient
As John goes about traveling the surrounding states each week
coming home to ensure the traveling he’s done has allowed for the needed
bread on the table before
heading back out into his current
I am left alone.
At first it was thrilling.
The sheer vitality of ‘alone’ was enrapturing.
It ran out very quickly and turned to loneliness.
I became aware of a sense
a following after of something.
how will you go about finding that thing, the nature of which is totally unknown to you? Meno
I was pursued
and running from the pursuit.
Like the feared ghosts some neighbors feign present
in my home I feared the presence pursuing.
It was more real than the ghosts I did not believe in.
It still pursues.
I am getting gradually
more comfortable letting it draw close
look over my shoulder as I read
Yes even in the welcome of guests
it lurks close at my side never
It unrelentingly draws in
chilling my nerves on Monday
if for more tolerable by
stands to hold my hand and take me on my next journey.
to invade my great ideas and hopes and turn
them upside down
shake them out and leave them empty-sacked
in the solitude of these many cracking walls.
It’s come to me just now,
this week, I can only escape
turning in stride abruptly holding
open my arms
welcoming it to come inside.
beneath it is all dark, all spreading, it is unfathomably deep; but now and again we rise to the surface and that is what you see us by. Rebecca Solnit
Solitude is a blissful place to rest.
to come alive.
If one is welcoming of the pursuit.
Melancholy brings a burning-off of the layers I’ve dressed myself in.
I may be cold for awhile,
without the layers of protective warmth
but I’ve heard tell what will remain
will fit a whole lot better.