Kathie B.

The introductory poem by Jelaluddin Rumi really spoke to me. I printed it out and reread it several times this week. The lines

Constant, slow movement teaches us to keep working

like a small creek that stays clear,

that doesn’t stagnate, but finds a way

through numerous details, deliberately

keep coming back to me and tell me its OK to keep working slowly as long as I keep working. And that's been my problem. To keep working. So this week's lesson on learning to make and take time is one that hits at the core of my needs.

I listed all the factors that keep me from working then categorized them: what I can control and what I cannot control. My current circumstances hold me to obligations and tasks that I know are important—for now. But other factors are within my span of control. Its funny/sad because the old me used to make and take Studio Time and be productive, it was a priority for her. The new me needs to learn to do this all over again. I thought back to my corporate days when I managed multiple projects as well as subordinates. I used a planner book and managed to meet my deadlines by adhering to my prioritized schedule focusing on what was important first. So if Studio Time is important (and it is) then it needs to be scheduled. 

I keep my calendar on my phone/iPad/computer – all synced – but that is really just my variable work schedule and appointments. I thought about using that calendar but it really doesn't give me an easy way to add and track my goals. So I created a planner page that I can print and fill out weekly since my work schedule varies from week to week. The first category is House because the house needs to be close to “showing ready” at all times thus the commitment is like that to a job. Next category is Job Hours followed by Commitments which are appointments, my volunteer work, etc. There's not much of this but if I see it then I know what part of the day I can schedule Studio Time. Oh, I wish Studio Time could be at the top of my list but for now selling the house and keeping my part-time job are both crucial. With Studio Time I also want to plan Studio Goals and note any tasks that I need toward those goals. I'll see how this works. It may need tweaking but having this page out and times, goals & tasks written should help me get the habit re-established.

I have scheduled Studio Time for this week and I have some decent blocks of times on my schedule. I am still working on the goals and tasks. The SAQA Tranquility/Turmoil themes intrigue me because I am living in turmoil now and crave some tranquility. The scavenger hunt yielded word associations and now I am groping for imagery that conveys what these feel like to me. Taking a concept and developing imagery as opposed to being inspired by an image I see in nature is perhaps a step I need to take. I know this process interests me but its a stretch. And yes,I am supposed to stretch.

As for the exercises, working larger doesn't fit my current situation. Nor does obsession, though I have made a few pieces with thousands of seed beads. For now I need to concentrate on creating a balance that gets me back and keeps me in what is now my studio. I am pleased that I used my allotted time this week to make progress on the finish work on my two Wabi Sabi pieces. I need to have the courage to move on to something new at some point this week. When I doubt I just start piecing backgrounds, slowly and deliberately.