Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Make. Do.

We played hooky yesterday. I let Maya skip school, and we went to my sister’s house to lounge by the pool. This was one of the best decisions I have made lately.

While sitting there, my nephew and I got to talking about passions and our desire to do art and how we don’t have time for it.

This is a complete falsehood I have told myself for many years.

I do have time. And I waste it. But not for the reason you might think. I often don’t pick up my brushes or my jewelry-making supplies or my felt because I don’t have a specific “project” in mind. I can spend hours perusing Pinterest looking for just the right idea, but then I don’t do it. I search for classes to take that will make me do it, and use my lack of funds and lack of time as an excuse to keep me from making “bad” art or “bad” music or “bad” writing. I want to pick up brushes and paint a masterpiece. What hogwash.

On Sunday, I was walking down the street and saw my neighbor on her porch playing her guitar. We started chatting about music and instruments. She showed me her studio. I was geeking out about Marco getting together with her and playing. And then her partner sent me this fantastic article about The Art of Focus. (My neighbors are the coolest.)

David Brooks writes, “The lesson from childhood, then, is that if you want to win the war for attention, don’t try to say “no” to the trivial distractions you find on the information smorgasbord; try to say “yes” to the subject that arouses a terrifying longing, and let the terrifying longing crowd out everything else.”

And just now Amanda Palmer’s song Ukulele Anthem came on.

“Quit the bitching on your blog
And stop pretending art is hard
Just limit yourself to three chords
And do not practice daily
You'll minimize some stranger's sadness
With a piece of wood and plastic”

I mean, talk about stars aligning.

This isn’t about feeling guilty that you’re not doing it.

This is about giving in to the “terrifying longing” and just going nuts without worrying about what will result.

Yes, I am super busy. That is never going to change, and if I keep waiting I am going to miss all my opportunities. I have to make and do with what time I have.

In honor of Maya Angelou, who lived every day of her life vibrantly, I will leave you with this:

“I believe the most important thing, beyond discipline and creativity is daring to dare.”

Go. Make. Do.

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