Thursday, April 24, 2008

Clearly, I haven't been painting... but I've been blogging. Thank goodness for the dual nature of my creative outlets. When I can't paint, I can write. When I can't write, I can paint. Knitting is the thread that rides through all of it.

I read Virginia Woolf recently and was sent into a reverie about women being involved in Great Movements. I realized that I wasn't at all involved in anything great. I have stubbornly stayed in my own little world, trying to be great in my consistency of doing something, anything. The greatness of my movement is in getting my rear to steer toward a blank and to put a mark there.

It may be, years from now, that I am a woman involved in the Great Movement known as intuitive painting (or whatever name we are given by those we can only talk to and not hear from.) It's also possible that I have delusions about being part of something other than my small grinding efforts at a creative existence. My grandeur, it seems, may be simply in my steering: tiny adjustments in course that, over time, determine the direction of something bigger than me. Illusions? Sure, why not.

In the mean time, I must stay with my most powerful question: What's next?

A friend of my husband's is in education, mostly with writing courses. They have a technique that is working and the administration is formalizing it. I hear the death knell. Only when the forerunners of the experience are willing to ditch the good ideas for better will we progress. It is not in refining an old process that we get to the new. We have to be shallow enough to say that our brain children are "so yesterday" in order to get to tomorrow and its needs.

What works is the act of showing up. It is not a matter of technique or skill levels or teachable/learning moments. It is a matter of sincere engagement with whatever is in front of us and finding the way to give voice to our experiences.

The great movements, to me, are the ones that Ask. In retrospect, they may look like great movements with Answers, but they started and grew as questions.

Probity is the key. Oh, I looked up that word and it wasn't what I wanted at all! Probity: complete and confirmed integrity; having strong moral principles; "in a world where financial probity may not be widespread..." Or maybe it was the right word, but I was thinking about probing questions, and being a questioner. Doesn't that sound like probity?! My definition of the key: sitting with the integrity of questions.

My thanks to Julia Cameron for giving me the "What's Next?" question out of "The Artist's Way."