Do you ever have those moments where you have a stack of artistic projects planned, have the time to do something toward them, but feel utterly incapable of making progress, despite that desire? I find that when my life equilibrium is disturbed, it is incredibly difficult to get into the creative zone and stay there long enough to produce anything at all.
This week, I have had to deal with stupid stuff, at home and in my day job. Two cars needed serious money spent on them, my hard drive decided to begin to die (I now have the replacement, but haven’t found the peace of mind and calmness to attempt this project) and there was a close family member that was in hospital for something relatively minor, but stressful and sore for them, all the same. My world was filled with worry and with finding solutions to distracting problems. Meanwhile, all the artistic projects went onto the back burner.
We’re all subject to noise, static and interference, from time to time. Life throws it at you. There isn’t much you can do about it except deal with it, accept it and get through it. Winston Churchill, I think, once said “if you’re going through hell, keep going.”
I know that people face much bigger challenges and daily. I marvel at people that have the presence of mind to shut out all of those distractions and are able to create anyway. I guess the discipline is just to decide that is what you are going to do and then, with courage and determination, do it anyway. I know, too, that I create less well without peace of mind and the ability to fully immerse myself in the task, but then there is a certain satisfaction at being able to do even mediocre work at all, when there is a lot of background turmoil, however severe or minor.
It was said that Renoir painted in the midst of noisy children and interruptions from his family, but that he found his contentment in this vibrant environment, full of love and warmth. It may have been the case that the kids playing were his inspiration, for all we know.
It isn’t easy filtering out the unwanted and inconvenient stuff, but I reckon it’s worth learning how to do it, even if that takes a leap of sheer bloody mindedness to achieve. If you can create something half way decent, when people are in panic around you, running around with their underpants on their heads and shrieking, or if you can continue to focus on the creative process, when the world is on fire and nothing can douse the flames, then imagine how well you will be able to create when conditions for the making of art are absolutely perfect.
May those moments of perfect opportunity for artistic expression be more plentiful than the crowded, compromised, exceedingly trying moments. But if they aren’t, push through it and create something anyway. It’s a good thing to know how to do.
And so endeth five hundred words I was sure I didn’t have in me this evening. Amazing how you can surprise yourself when you try.