Dear Devotion: my perplexing problem

I’m working on a solo piece that I, and I alone, am creating. Like a sculptor alone in the studio facing a great slab of shapeless rock holding a chisel in one hand and a vision of possibility in the other. I am both sculptor & rock. Discoverer & discovered. I am navigating my body & mind in a way that is almost completely foreign to me. Total autonomy. It’s daunting.

My body is my instrument.

From which all work emerges. All ideas are expressed. Storytelling is in my veins, sinews, synapses. I, the artist, must learn to work every angle, control every aperture, understand the mechanics to take it apart & rebuild it. As a director of self my only option is to observe passively with gentle exacting focus as the performance comes through me. Let refinement arise in the commitment to discovery within. Trust my impulses.

My mind is a double edged sword.

It has baracaded itself inside behind enemy lines over analyzing all the ways I intersect with the world. Impulses that used to feel natural suddenly appear forgin under endless scrutiny. Without specific tasks & complex problems to latch onto my mind occupies itself in the most awful ways. When the anxiety rises I can barely quell the shakes. It surges through me like lightening and lingers for days. 

My heart has not healed.

There are memories stored in the muscles of my body that flinch when eyes linger there too long. Memories that tighten in my throat when certain songs play. Memories so heavy my bones ache with the weight of them on rainy days. My breath tries to balance the precipice between the world & I, but I’m still caught holding on to things I wish I could forget. 

My presence is the piece.

I am terrified of loosing myself in the work. I struggle to be present in my body & mind while even still I try to clutch onto some shade of normalcy. I am not creating in spite of these challenges but because of them. I am not a blank slate waiting to be filled with inspiration, I am the spark itself. The combined force of chisel point, skilled labour, and unrealized potential hidden in plain sight. The scariest part is the idea of being seen as broken, unredeemable, vulnerable. Of being seen & being hurt again. Rather than running away though I practice radical vulnerability in the studio, but how can I leave this raw open energy in the studio when this piece is also my life’s work?

My perplexing problem.

Advertisements
Standard

5x lullabys for inquisitive minds

Sometimes I can’t sleep, and nothing seems to comfort me. The more I try to clear my mind the more my mind churns. There is no hope to untangle the web of thoughts that clutter upon me, so in these times I attempt to fill my brain with ideas more complex and beautiful to push out those meddling sleepless thoughts. Ponder by candle light in the gentle whisper of a cool night breeze.

Enjoy

  1. Elgar Cello Concerto as performed by Jacqueline du Pré turned up a while ago when reading When The Body Says No by Gabor Maté
  2. Alan Watts on Using Space to Find Yourself via The Pxrtals
  3. Mysterium by Jennifer Sparrowhawk via Tightrope
  4. Nástio Mosquito on Performing the City at Creative Time Summit 2014 via Mammalian Diving Reflex
  5. Beautifully haunting music video for Carrion from Lying Light in The Quiet and be sure to check out their album release show tonight at Village Guitar & Amp
Standard

Dear devotion: thoughts

I have a question that has been eating me alive with this project: is it too personal?
At what point is a piece merely public masturbation for the artist? How do you determine if these ideas are valuable to the wider community? How much self are you allowed to have in a piece as an artist before it becomes irrelevant introspection and therapy?
I’m not sure I have the answer yet.
All I can say is the more time I spend contemplating this piece the more “about me” it seems to become and the more terrified I am to do it.
But what is an artist with out a voice? How would I expect to give shape to the piece with out a perspective? Why am I afraid to be seen in my work?
These are the hardest questions I face creating the piece so far, and some days I fear they will choke out the actual work like a weed.
This is my process I have to accept. Question everything. Try something small. Tear it apart. And build it bigger. Question everything again.
To love your work is to burn it.
To love your work is to be consumed by it.
Sometimes I think to love your work is to be tortured by it.

Standard