In the middle part of July I spent a charming week at a sheep farm in upcountry BC. It was about 5 hours to get there, most of it following the winding Fraser River. Tappen mountain, perched above Salmon Arm. There, at the sheep farm on the mountain side, gathered 6 women to spend 7 days making art, food and the most wonderful friendships. I brought a sketchbook, clay and my mini-kiln. I was suprised that I didn’t make more art, but instead really spent the week doing some big question asking of myself. I feel pretty good about my position in life right now, having just turned 30 this month, but there always seems to be a question laying in my head, I find myself often working to redefine my choice to be an artist, asking myself if there are other things I might also like to be doing, talents I am not using fully, oh what am I here for? You know, the usual stuff I throw out here on the BLog… That ongoing existential crisis I seem to be playing around with. Well, I guess I wouldn’t call it it exactly a crisis, but certainly that scenario of not waking up feeling like I’m doing what I’m born to do, and not sure if I’m feeling that way as guilt for choosing life as artist, or feeling that way a large portion of my life right now… So what? Am I woman in training? Am I a late bloomer? So here we are this art retreat, me and 6 other women, and quite a few of us in a state of flux… So the question was posed by one of the women during the week: “What would you do if you knew you could not fail?”
3 weeks later, I am still asking myself this question, still not sure what to say. I guess the exercise of asking is that you should respond spontaneously- but unfortunately my critic is very loud and when I feel a thought coming to mind I begin to criticize it before it gets very far. A very good friend recently observed: Dori, you are too hard on yourself. Really? It’s not just high expectations? Hmmm. Reoccurring lessons? Yes, there is that big one- the one that pops up about 2 times a year- how can I learn to be happy/content/proud/etc of where I am in life right now, and worry less about how I’m not doing this or that, or haven’t accomplished this or that…
One of the activities we did at the art retreat was draw a card daily from a stack- art cards! Each card had a message and suggestion for opening up creativity, overcoming creative challenges, etc. I LOVED this part, as everyone seemed to draw a card that applied to the current situation in their lives. How does this synchronicity happen? Anyway, by the end of the week we each had about 6 cards… And what was the “stand out” card that I drew? FIRE YOUR CRITIC.
bebooobeeebooo… Okay… 10 minutes later… how crazy is THIS? I just got off the phone with a very influential art director in town- she just called me asking me “what can I do with you?”. I’m going to meet with her next week to brainstorm possible roles for me…
SHUT UP! Fabulous Dahhling!
That’s all I needed to say. Next time I will write about the new place we moved into! Yes, we bought a place in Vancouver!!! And I might write about other stuff… I may even try to answer the question “what would you do if you knew you could not fail?”. I’ll just throw something out there.