I have a friend named Jim who has a dream of being a playwrite. He has a room in his house with a computer where he goes to write. His wife has commented on trying to give Jim time alone for his writing. This past summer, Jim's wife took the kids out of the country for the summer. After about 2 months, we had Jim over for dinner. I thought about a summer alone and started to fantasize about what I would do with myself. So I asked Jim if he had been doing a lot of writing. His answer surprised me. "No, I haven't done any writing, but I do golf every day." Wow! that was unexpected. It turns out that Jim was in a company golf tournament last year in a group with 2 rather good golfers. Jim decided to sign up again for the tournament at the end of this summer, and enjoy it much more after a summer of practice. What does this mean for Jim?
I have a dream of playing the guitar..really well. So I can take requests.
I have the guitar.
I have learned that practicing the guitar NEVER comes up as my number one choice of things to do when I get to choose. I think this means I don't really want that thing.
What do I actually work hard to make room for consistently? Studio time. Art making opportunities drive me to get up early and go all day. There is one thing though that trumps time alone in my studio where I feel I have escaped the planet. What is this thing? Making connections. If I run into you at the grocery store and we have a good conversation, it will likely be the highlight of my day.
When I went to school to get an art degree, there were two things I really wanted to do. The first was to be challenged and see what I could do. One of my very favorite parts of school was walking out of Jo Ostraff's mixed media class thinking, "I have no idea how I'm going to do this assignment."
The second thing I really wanted was to work my way into the art community so that I could connect with people who had this same crazy passion for creating. One of my favorite experiences came when I sold a piece to Salt Lake artist Jody Plant. She wanted to know where to send the check and I said "I'll come get it from you!" I loved getting to visit with Jody in her lovely home with all her passion and drive. We were old friends in an instant.
I guess what I'm saying is, there are things I admire about other people, like their ability to sing and strum Cat Stevens. But that admiration isn't causing me to do anything. I can't say I really want that. I guess I should pass the guitar along.