Saturday, April 18, 2020

Working through the Downtime

Yes, I’m still working from home but as I joked with a friend who does the same, not much has really changed except now I have another work at home buddy, my husband. And we are lucky we are both doing jobs we love and making a living as well as a life. Together. 

Now we walk. We work. We walk some more. And we work some more. He has his office/studio upstairs and mine is downstairs and out in the garage. I wear ear buds or turn down my studio music because he might be recording upstairs. It’s all working out. 

Throwing and rearranging. 

I had a great time at the wheel this week. I just threw a few new vases and a bowl. Yup, just 3 pieces because right now, I don’t have to worry about inventory. I’ve had finished work stacked on a shelf with nowhere to go for months now. 

Though my motivation to produce isn’t there, the emotional need to make is even stronger now. With three shelves filling up with greenware and bisque, I needed to move the finished pieces to make more room. So I spent a whole day, cleaning shelves, pricing new work and re-staging my studio sale shelves. I’m lucky to have the support of local art lovers who buy my work.

Good thoughts for the week from another writer. 

This poem popped into my inbox this week from writer and coach, Tara Mohr. I loved it. I felt uplifted and calmed and grounded. I want to share it with the hope that it helps you as much as it helped me. 

Downtime Poem

In any creative feat
(by which I mean your work, your art, your life)
there will be downtimes.

Or so it seems.
Just as the earth is busy before the harvest
and a baby grows before its birth,
there is no silence in you.
There is no time of nothingness.

What if,
during the quiet times, when the idea flow is hushed and hard to find
you trusted (and yes I mean trusted)
that the well was filling, the waters moving?

What if you trusted
that for the rest of eternity,
without prodding, without self-discipline,
without getting over being yourself,
you would be gifted every ounce of productivity you need?
What would leave you? What would open?

And what if during the quiet times you ate great meals
and leaned back to smile at the stars,
and saw them there, as they always are,
nourishing you?

There are seasons and harvest is only a fraction of one of them.
We forget this.

There is the rhythm that made everything.
The next time you stand in the kitchen, leaning,
the next time a moment of silence catches you there,
hear it, that rhythm, and let it place a stone in your spine.
Let it bring you some place beautiful.
By Tara Mohr

My hope as I throw and paint and dust is that we can all find a way to work through the downtime right now. And remember in Tara Mohr’s wise words, “during the quiet times you ate great meals and leaned back to smile at the stars.”

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