Life is full of distractions. Things to do. People to see. Places to go. Add a goal of dedicating yourself to creating new work and life gets even fuller, sometimes to the point of over flow. Now, don't get me wrong, having an overflow of ideas, taking these ideas from inspiration to a finished pieces of art is a wonderful, exciting thrill ride.
But sometimes, the ride gets sidetracked.
The road to creation can take many detours. Some of those detours wind their way to new ideas and back to new creations. But some of those detours are sharp turns that lead the creative life off course. Ideas, projects and new pieces get lost. Along this road, I tend to get busy driving through the traffic of to-do lists, outside pressures or some kind of internal expectations of achievement. I forget the most important thing in my life: creating.
The sign says stop.
But stopping is one of the hardest things for me to do when I'm driving my busy car. I want to make it through the yellow lights, pass the slower cars and get there first. Creating, I know from experience, doesn't work that way. Putting the peddle to the metal does not get the art work done faster, in fact, it causes more creative crashes than anything else. And even as I write this, and know this, I still see there's this push inside to drive on, faster, anyway. But I am learning, finally to stop.
The way is simple, really.
Routine helps me immensely. Taking a walk in the park every morning with my sweet dog, Jilly. Look at the trees budding. Feel the leaves swaying. Hear the crows gossiping. Smell the fresh grass and taste the spring air around me. Bring that outside into my quiet space as I wedge the clay, get out my tools and put down Jilly's bed next to my wheel and let it spin. Wherever it goes, I go. Whatever comes out of the clay, I accept.
With a lump of clay in my hands, there are no distractions.
Why, a little curious voice asks, do I keep forgetting this simple truth? Maybe this is just part of my process of living. So simply: next time I see the distraction detour coming, I need to pick up my clay and follow it instead.