Another after hours blog post ~ written at the end of a long day at the studio, which is getting to be so much fun now that I have a studio mate it feels ever-so-slightly illegal. I am an adult with a husband, a family and a long list of grown-up responsibilities ~ am I really supposed to be having this much fun? Today we went on an excursion to the art supply store, each armed with a mental list of only the items we needed. Fast forward to a shot of both of us walking out of the store, arms full of bags stuffed with things like a brick of beeswax, a hair dryer-sized super heating gun, and a wild rainbow of paint jars. We are going crazy with a power sander and gold mica flakes, with hammers and furniture tacks, with vintage wooden letter stamps and a spray bottle of water. Tonight found us each getting lost in our own layered creations while jamming out to the Kinks. I have to say ~ with a giggle ~ we kind of feel like creative badasses in there, attacking blank wooden panels as if our lives depended on it.
There are conversations happening now about future possibilities for this studio space, or perhaps an even larger studio space. Regardless of where these conversations lead (which could be absolutely nowhere), I am relishing this sense of unlimited expansiveness. What I have learned with this space is that when creative people gather, an energy begins to immediately swirl around everyone; in the process of talking, exchanging, working and sharing ideas, the entire circle is lifted. A lot of wonderful collaborations have come about in this space without my really having to do much other than pluck a dandelion from the earth and blow gently on its cottony wisps. The seeds traveled quietly here and there and before I knew it, my calendar was filling up with all kinds of lovely adventures.
And that is the practice ~ the approach that is slowly but surely becoming a bona fide habit: Sitting still, and letting the magic unfold on its own. Honestly, I haven't had to do much to create these wonderful experiences. I haven't had to go out of my way, talk anyone into anything or inconvenience anyone. They have been happening with little or no help from me. My job has been ~ and still is ~ to simply enjoy them.
I took the photo above quite a few years ago in Santa Ynez, where I used to live. This enormous field of flowers was in full bloom and people were pulling over to take photos and admire the long bands of gold, fuschia and marigold waving in the breeze. I will never forget a group of nuns that piled out of a car and had the best time taking photos of one another. I don't know where they came from, or where they were going, but they saw the flowers, stopped their car, and stood in the field like Dorothy surrounded poppies in The Wizard of Oz. What was true for them was true for all of us by the side of the road that day: We didn't have to do anything except stop our cars, get out, and stand still. The joy was ours for the taking. The only way we'd miss out on it is if we refused to take the time to see it and bask in its simplicity.
I don't expect wonderful things to come my way if I literally sit around and do nothing. What I'm trying to say is that I just need to keep doing what I do, which is work in my studio, splurge on supplies that might not be on my shopping list, take care of my family, be true to my word, and stay on top of my laundry (not necessarily in that order.) Everything will happen Everything is happening, and what's happening is all about JOY.