Things are getting more and more eccentric at Casa de la Swain. Changing styles in my textile work, falling in love again with painting and photography...and then there is the ever illusive quest for continuing creativity through working with Eric Maisel. Still on the road teaching, posting now at the Ragged Cloth Cafe and taking the pledge to keep handmaiden up to date.

Friday, December 16, 2005

How Far I Have Fallen?

Some of you may remember that one of my degrees is in Philosophy. Not even sure how I made it through that one, now when I pick up one of the books I had to read for class my head wants to explode. However, when Jon Bon Jovi sings "It's My Life," I get it immediately. Is that a sad statement on my intellectual capacity or what?
There is not a doubt in my mind that I get what he is telling me. Live your life everyday as if it were you last. Don't back down on what you believe. I ain't gonna live forever so if I don't live like I want to now, when?
So I ask you and myself are you living the life you want to be living? Not the small trivial things like having to go grocery store (ugh!) but are you being true to your dreams and beliefs?
When I turned 50 (shock, me a half a century old, sounds so bad when you say it that way), there was a little switch that flipped in my head. It was the "What are you goona do now girl" switch? After all, I will not live longer than I already have so the clock is ticking. So on that day, I decided if I didn't speak out for what I believed, lived honestly, fully, ethically and with a lot less ego, I never was. Time would steal away while I muddled through life bumping into the furniture of existence.
It was the best decision that I ever made. I am not unkind or cruel; instead exactly the opposite. Every day holds new meaning, brings new joys and I can speak my mind without worrying if I am saying the wrong thing. In other words, at 50 I finally stopped being an adolescent...I made it to grown up. What a long strange trip it's been.
What does this have to do with art? Simply, it gave me the freedom to waste fabric trying something that wasn't going to work, not focus on outside validation and stop envying the talent of others by working to discover my own. Which brought with it an amazing appreciation for other artist work because the little critic in my head shut up....stopped the "I wasn't good enough" dialogue and switched to "Do your own work and see it for what it is...ocassionaly very good; occasionally a total muck up." And when you don't succeed with your vision, remember all the mistakes you made getting there were learning so you could give it another try with your new awareness and knowledge.
As this year draws to an end, try to flip a switch of your own. It doesn't have to be my switch...we are all varied in our individuaity but we all have a switch somewhere.
" And in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make." Have a wonderful Holiday season.


Karoda said...

Well Garielle, I'm offering that you stopped studying Philosophy and became the Philosophy/er.

I've believed and struggled to live in the space you're talking about since I was an adolescent. Its always a process. If I don't have my voice, then I really have nothing.

And this brings to mind words by Ms Maya Angelou...a woman isn't grown until she has past 40 because she just begins to understand what it is she knows and how to apply it.

hangeth in,

Omega said...

Snap on the philosophy and decision on turning 50 - perhaps it means we finally grew up! It certainly feels good.

Valeri said...

Yes,yes and yes! So what were your other degrees in? Enquiring minds would like to know!

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