Saturday, February 12, 2011

maybe impatience saved me, after all

yes, i've always considered it a curse. and if i'm asked, 'what would you change in your life?', i'd say, 'i wish i had savored each moment more.' then one morning this week, i reconsidered. would i have done so much, been through so much, if i had been satisfied, suffering myself and fools lightly?

henry moore the sculptor wrote: The secret of life is to have a task, something you devote your entire life to, something you bring everything to, every minute of the day for your whole life. And the most important thing is, it must be something you cannot possibly do.

hmm, the description fits, now what have i been doing? like the photographer william eggleston i like to make things. true, as soon as i've created an item, after the flush of satisfaction is over - and i almost always finish what i start - i suddenly can't stand it, am ashamed of it. is this because i've revealed myself? or is it that i haven't immediately achieved fame and fortune, the love of the masses i've always desired?

so i put whatever it is away: a play, a poem, a photograph, a song. often i never show it to anyone else or i post it on the web and let it disappear into internet heaven, not allowing any comments to shake me out of my solitude. (don't get into arguments in cyberspace. the anonymous become vicious.) and i may not see this particular piece for years.

recently i read the photographer george tice's remark: i like to go down into the basement and look at my photographs. i take great pleasure in them. that's a far cry from virginia woolf who shuddered everytime she passed a shelf of her books! and i thought, tice has it. i'm often astounded by the romances and travels i've had, the poems i've written, the movie i made. where did that come from? how did i do it?

and the only answer i have is: i've been divinely discontented. hopefully i can continue to enjoy the product and not walk into the river like virginia. it's a fine line between being unsettled and being undone.

here are a few humble truths: