Found this on Keri Smith’s website today. It’s time to relax and make my own uncool.
Just stop thinking, worrying, looking over your shoulder wondering, doubting, fearing, hurting, hoping for some easy way out, struggling, grasping,…Stop it and just DO!…
Don’t worry about cool, make your own uncool. Make your own, your own world. If you fear, make it work for you – draw & paint your fear and anxiety…
You must practice being stupid, dumb, unthinking, empty. Then you will be able to DO!…
Try to do some BAD work – the worst you can think of and see what happens but mainly relax and let everything go to hell – you are not responsible for the world – you are only responsible for your work – so DO IT. And don’t think that your work has to conform to any preconceived form, idea or flavor. It can be anything you want it to be…
I know that you (or anyone) can only work so much and the rest of the time you are left with your thoughts. But when you work or before your work you have to empty you [sic] mind and concentrate on what you are doing. After you do something it is done and that’s that. After a while you can see some are better than others but also you can see what direction you are going. I’m sure you know all that. You also must know that you don’t have to justify your work – not even to yourself.
excerpted from a letter from Sol Lewitt to Eva Hesse
We haven’t been out to our favourite beach in Colchester, Ontario for at least two months. The girls were at their grandparents today – which gave us a perfect excuse to head to the beach.
The water is high right now – the highest I’ve seen it. I’ve also never seen so much driftwood on the beach. I was tempted to collect a bunch, but unlike our border collie, we haven’t found a good use for it.
We found very few pieces of sea glass. I sort of gave up looking half way along the beach, and started taking photos.
Farley, waiting patiently for a piece of driftwood to be thrown:
Rosie, staying close:
The only ice to be found on the beach was a clump of icicles hanging from a branch along the shore:
Peace. Clarity. Sunshine. Two happy dogs. Two happy humans. Who cares if our sea glass buckets were empty?
Keri Smith inspires me. I love The Rebel’s Manifesto.
Even though my hair isn’t punk-black anymore and The Sex Pistols are no longer on my playlist, my inner rebel is still as much a part of me as it was in high school. Even though I live in a pretty house in suburbia with a big happy porch and I dress (almost) like all the other mommies, my inner rebel is stirring like a bad-ass funnel cloud above a trailer park.
Time to touch down and unleash some wild, reckless and MESSY creativity.
Do you collect sea glass? Then you’ve witnessed that strange look in someone’s eyes that combines both bewilderment and boredom. Bewilderment because they can’t quite figure out why you are obsessed over bits of broken glass; and boredom because bits of broken glass are about as compelling to them as an electric garage door manual.
I do believe there are people in my extended family who have given me this look. (I won’t name any names.) For these folks, I limit my sea glass discussions to mere sentence fragments.
But maybe I am taking the wrong approach. Can they be enlightened? After all, sea glass has all the elements of a compelling collectible.
- Sea glass is mysterious. Was it from a shipwreck? Or maybe a poison bottle?
- Sea glass is beautiful. People rappel off of cliffs and kayak in dangerous waters in search of rare colors.
- Sea glass is historical. Some pieces are hundreds of years old!
- Sea glass is free – unlike many collectibles which can cost oodles of money.
- Sea glass is full of surprises. You never know what will end up in your bucket!
Thankfully, the people I spend most of my time with (my husband and two girls) are in just as deep as I am, so there’s no need for a lecture. There’s no need to explain to them why housework, homework and other obligations must take a back seat to hitting the beach. There’s no need to explain to them why the kitchen table is covered in a rainbow of wet glass instead of dinner.
There’s no need to help them understand why I can hear the Divine Spirit, or Source a lot more clearly in the sound of the waves, then inside four walls.
As architect Frank Lloyd Wright once said: “I put a capital “N” on nature and call it my church.”
I love a church where I can wear rubber boots and smell the wind.
I have fallen in love with reading again. I devoured three memoirs in three weeks. Damn good memoirs. ( I will discuss the others in a future blog post.)
Last night I started reading my fourth: Beachcombing at Miramar: The Quest for An Authentic Life by Richard Bode. I read 38 pages aloud to my husband. We would have read until the wee hours of the morning, but it was a weeknight.
Bode is a superb writer, and a kindred spirit. He is a beachcomber (and writer) who is as in touch with the complexities of his inner world, as he is the ocean landscape that he inhabits. He savours solitude (like me), and possesses a keen sense of wonder for the small, and beautiful mysteries in nature. (He dwells at length on a sand dollar he finds at the beach – observing the fine details on its surface, comparing it to a “lithotint of a master artist, a symphony on stone.”) And that alone would be enough to hook me. But it’s his observations of his fellow humans that really captivate me.
Divorced after a thirty year marriage, Bode searches for love, and is deeply analytical of the relationships he encounters between men and women. He speaks of being “alone”, not lonely like “the mismatched husbands and wives” he sees everywhere.
He walks the beach to find himself (and maybe her?) It is at the beach that he finds authenticity.
How is it, I ask myself, that I have so little money, yet I live so well?
I know the answer even before the question has filtered through my brain. It lies, in part, in what I have shed, the material encumbrances of life that once weighed me down, and, in part, in the useful objects I discover – the bric a brac, the artifacts, the relics, the castaway bits and pieces of civilization – as I comb the sand.
I have deep admiration for those who, like Bode, abandon materialism and take on this human adventure in a much more naked state. I believe that the more “stuff” we have, the bigger the chasm between our ego-driven existence and true enlightenment. I have far to go.