Self awareness, a stitch at a time
One of my themes for this week has been finding the inner artist. I journal, walk, brainstorm, meditate, draw, stitch, work with others, and read . At the moment, I am reading “The Art of Thought”, by Graham Wallas. I have found over the years that I can read only one book at a time. I used to read many books at once. But lately, honing in on one has been more fruitful for me. There are many, many more books in the world than I can ever read in one lifetime. We are inundated with lists. “100 books from 1979 that made me more Productive in 2021!” , “11 Must Read Books for Happiness!” — and so on, ad infinitum.
Wallace says, “A difficulty in the voluntary control of thought arises from the elusive character of emotion…poets and artists hage attempted to retain their emotions by(association with)images of sensation…” My understanding of this concept is that I look at my work from both the outside and the inside; the objective nuts and bolts of construction and color is the external locus, and the internal view is that place that I can clear my mind and tap that hidden wellspring a stitch at a time.
Wallace quotes Blake here; ‘He who bends to himself a Joy/Doth the winged life destroy”. This sensation is one I have experienced many times. How often do I see a sunset, a beam of light in a droplet on a blade of grass, a shaft of light on a leaf, and hurry to my studio, certain that I will retain that color memory long enough to capture it? That “direct effort to retain emotion” robs it from me.
I am completing a stitched project today. The introspection is necessary for the physical outcome. I am already full of more ideas for the next works than I can possibly complete in the time it takes me to remember them.