The Creative Artist “manages” Time..

Who lives in this oak bark? jan 19

There are times in my life when I feel as though I cannot catch up with my feet. Today I had several meetings back to back, in various time zones. Twice today I showed up for a Zoom meeting, only to find no one there but me. I am sure this experience of staring at oneself in an empty computer room is familiar to many. I had my time zones backwards at least twice today.

But everything ended up as it should, and, as it happened, I was gifted an extra hour this afternoon. I have several tools in my creative mindset toolbox and walking meditation is one of the sharpest. Camera in hand, I set out for the mailbox. I have a new body of work beginning in my studio and layers upon layers of ideas to sort out and convey. On top of that, after many years I have an actual camera to look at the world with(although the viewscreen takes some getting used to). It changes my walk to the mailbox. I had forgotten the joy I take in a blade of grass, the spike of a barb on the barbed wire fence, the endless textures in bark.

I was able to lose myself in the bark of this oak tree for a good part of that hour. When I came back to the house, my brain was reset. I still had my work obligations, my Zoom meetings, all the other tasks of the day… but somehow, my requisite daily stitching got done, and my work that I am doing for my independence got done… a little bit, each day.

Who knows how many little creatures live in the bark on this ancient tree? I am somewhat sad, because the tree is dying, and when an old tree begins to die off like this, it is part of the natural order of things that insects will exacerbate that process. Even in the destruction of the tissues outside the outer cambium there are beautiful colors and textures. The above photograph is not necessarily an illustration of the bark itself, but of my act of seeing it in this way.

I did not manage my time today; I was blown about in its vicissitudes like a dust mote in the air currents from the heat duct under the window sill. Nevertheless, I completed most of the tasks I set out to do today.

Eventually, if I have perseverance, I will be free to exist in time without even a thought of having time control me. I am glad to have people joining me on the journey.

Carol LeBaron

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