Following a Thread
Following a thread...This phrase has been my unofficial motto for a long time, especially for my art practice. This idea has inspired many a journal page and art piece. I evolve, my art evolves, but my path is always about the thread. It is a constant in my life and I relate to it as a lifeline of sorts. It has always been a guiding force, though at times, hanging onto it has been a sheer act of faith. I have found that if I trust it, however, the thread always leads me exactly where I need to go. So far it has been quite an adventure!
I have been following the thread lately in a different direction with my with my lettering and my use of text in my creative process. I have always combined text and imagery, usually in such a way that the words are invisible glue that hold together the layers of a page. The words come in many shapes and styles, and are usually hidden or illegible, and create an abstract texture that mirrors the depths of my own many emotional layers. The most consistent way they appear is an abstract script that I spontaneously developed years ago. Lately my script is taking on a new life. It has become more bold and angular, and a much more prominent part of my journal pages and pieces. I keep asking myself what this is all about, but then I remind myself that I don’t always have to know the why’s of everything (not my easiest lesson), and I just kept traveling into it. Most of the time it feels so alien to me that I don’t even recognize my own work, and others it feels like I am coming home. The more I surrender to it, the more it feels like home to me. I see this new place as a stepping-stone to deeper understanding. Every time my work takes a turn like this, something is usually about to be revealed to me. Today I was impatiently wondering what that could possibly be (and when the hell am I going to figure out the pieces for my upcoming show, and is this a part of it?), when a dear friend reminded me to focus on the journey and not the (anticipated) destination. Of course he is right, and it reeled me right back (albeit kicking and screaming) into this moment in my process, and the beautiful mystery that is unfolding. Here is to being present with what is here right now. What is here right now for me is layers of bright and crazy street art looking calligraphic mayhem.
The Way It Is
There’s a thread you follow. It goes among
things that change. But it doesn’t change.
People wonder about what you are pursuing.
You have to explain about the thread.
But it is hard for others to see.
While you hold it you can’t get lost.
Tragedies happen; people get hurt
or die; and you suffer and get old.
Nothing you do can stop time’s unfolding.
You don’t ever let go of the thread.
~ William Stafford ~