when the world feels like a batshit crazy place is pretty challenging. I don’t know the best way to access a more grounded version of myself, but I do know the quickest. When I’m acting childish and feeling like I deserve more (or less) of whatever—a little gratitude for all of the good things in my life seems to ground me the most.
Gratitude not attitude seems to do the trick.
grounded—mentally and emotionally stable: admirably sensible, realistic, and unpretentious (Merriam Webster)
I’m not entirely sure about “admirably sensible” or “unpretentious“. However, feeling grounded, well, that’s worth a little exploration.
I don’t know how this song wasn’t on my radar until yesterday.
I came of age in rural South Dakota in the 70s and 80s. There were a lot of mixed messages around gender roles, religious beliefs regarding women’s place in home and society and male privilege.
Thank goodness for Title IV.
On June 23, 1972, the President signed Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, 20 U.S.C. into law. Title IX is a comprehensive federal law that prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in any federally funded education program or activity.
Without middle & high school athletics, I don’t know exactly where my resilience would’ve come from. I was a creative, slightly above average student—I just didn’t (and still don’t) get any juice from good grades.
I remember how patiently my late father fostered my young girl inner athlete. My Dad used the intelligence most readily available to him to teach what he highly valued; practice to improve, leadership, resilience and team work.
In the 70s and 80s in rural South Dakota, that pretty much makes Dad a feminist. He would find that funny, but I doubt would disagree.
“Nothing is original. Steal from anywhere that resonates with inspiration or fuels your imagination. Devour old films, new films, music, books, paintings, photographs, poems, dreams, random conversations, architecture, bridges, street signs, trees, clouds, bodies of water, light and shadows. Select only things to steal from that speak directly to your soul. If you do this, your work (and theft) will be authentic. Authenticity is invaluable; originality is non-existent. And don’t bother concealing your thievery – celebrate it if you feel like it. In any case, always remember what Jean-Luc Godard said: “It’s not where you take things from – it’s where you take them to.” —Jim Jarmusch, filmmaker
I haven’t felt very painterly lately, so I thought I would give myself an hour to just play in my studio. I ripped out a bunch of magazine ads I loved from a Harper’s I found under one of my daughter’s beds, tore, painted, searched for found objects and photographed. It’s always resonated with me creatively the statement; it’s not where you take things from, it’s where you take them to. I might become a little obsessive about this process for a while. I’m just letting you know.
Thank you Harper’s Bazaar, fashion photographers, art directors, editors, models, designers, stylists, lighting desigers, location scouts, caterers, personal assistants…and everyone else involved in the shots I stole. Your eye and ideas are inspirational, even if I’m not always wild about the body image messaging or the products.
Yesterday my friend Andrew and I were in his innovative home studio shooting some photographs for a series he’s working on. I was wearing a mask for the shoot. When we were done, it seemed like a waste to not take a few “unmasked” photos when the light and background were all set up.
I was reluctant to post this image today, not because of the quality of the image. Nice work Andrew. But why? I think perhaps the “why” is; the veins/age spots on my hands, the wrinkles around my eyes and my grey roots awaiting a touch up (tomorrow). However, while looking more closely I don’t only see those things. I see that I’m wearing my favorite “uniform” of paint splattered khakis, a tank top and a cowboy shirt I’ve had and loved for twenty years. Around my neck is a pendant my daughter, Willa made for me in her metals class. I’m really relaxed. Down the road I wholeheartedly believe I’ll be grateful to have this portrait. Thanks Andrew.
Today I printed it at the #BCA studios on Pine Street in Burlington (thanks Renee). I plan to write some details on the back so my grandkids or great grandkids will possess some information about me and who I was in March of 2018.
Don’t shy from the camera folks. You’re going to want photographs of yourself. Get your favorite ones printed. Only having digital images is so different than actually holding a print in your hand—get multiples & share them broadly.
When I have a lot of things to do that I’m not very interested in, I escape by creating something. Anything. I like what happened when I put off my “should do” list tonight.
A different perspective? MAYBE? That would be noble.
Nope, I was just giving my brain a creativity fix.
Vintage shoes, an abandoned farmhouse, South Dakota two-lane, a Vegas sign, urban ruins (Detroit), California fires, summer feet, Lucy & Willa, New Orleans lights, an octopus and an alligator in the Everglades…all provided my muse. I could while away many more hours making these.
However, I’m going to bed. I’m optimistic I will actually conquer more of my “should do” list tomorrow—now that my creative bucket (or bottle) has been filled.
“Nothing is original. Steal from anywhere that resonates with inspiration or fuels your imagination. Devour old films, new films, music, books, paintings, photographs, poems, dreams, random conversations, architecture, bridges, street signs, trees, clouds, bodies of water, light and shadows. Select only things to steal from that speak directly to your soul. If you do this, your work (and theft) will be authentic. Authenticity is invaluable; originality is non-existent. And don’t bother concealing your thievery – celebrate it if you feel like it. In any case, always remember what Jean-Luc Godard said: “It’s not where you take things from – it’s where you take them to.“
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This is one of my favorite quotes of all time. When I think I’m being entirely original that’s when my ego emerges and my work suffers. If I take note of my inspiration (creative theft), then my work is often more authentic. Thank you Jim Jarmusch and Jean-Luc Godard, “it’s not where you take things from – it’s where you take them to”. Indeed.