Thursday, September 03, 2009

Left & Right or Right & Left


Late this afternoon and early evening, I spent some treasured time with someone who influenced my life deeply. Bonnie is a friend, but our relationship started when I was 15 and she was my art teacher in high school. It's pretty unusual that we are still in contact after these many decades, unusual that we connect so easily despite not often taking time to cross the bay for a face-to-face visit, and unusual in that around her I still feel compelled to become better, more creative.


"Become" is the operative word here. I think that being creative and creating (are those the same thing?) is really all about becoming. Fashioning the present into the future. It's about transformation. And by creating something, one is transforming oneself inwardly to outward.

It's very gratifying to do this work/transformation. But what amuses me, though, is when I stand outside of myself and watch my current "artist" behaviors evolve, I do the very things that used to confound me when I owned a company of designers and had to "manage" them. It was so frustrating then to be in the office early in the morning and to have to wait for the design staff to saunter in around 10 am when I had clients on the line who didn't get that the minds of Creatives just didn't work much before noon. The designers kept telling me that they worked late, and I would get better work for it.

Now, I am starting to understand it. Even though I usually get up early (5 am today), I just can't really work until, uh, 10 am at least. Maybe even later. But I can work on art until later in the evening than I can write or plan or analyze or edit things. Is that weird or what! Not only that, but my ability to spell has degraded fast, and I procrastinate everything, preferring to let it all "percolate" until I can visualize the solution.

Does this have something to do with that right-brain/left-brain bifurcation? (Aha! In my previous life, I would have written "left-brain" first in that equation!) Maybe. But I believe that for all their differences the two cerebral hemispheres are really closely entwined, work with each other, engage each other, talk to each other, love each other.

That's what I see with this piece, itself titled Left & Right. Not only are both sides different, but they are of one organism (plant, in this case), and you can see them communicating, even turned toward each other. Speaking in confidential tones. Checking with the other.

Anyway, Bonnie, thank you for your influence, for sparking my creative becoming, for believing in me and having the patience to let me percolate and finally be.

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