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Art is the telephone line to conversation.
Making Art is the Telephone Line to Conversation (Mouse Over)

(Kim: Joan, I am getting really impatient with not spending all my time making art...)

Boy, do I get that. Away from home, away from the usual stimuli and demands, the feelings and ideas and words feel like they are a bubbling fount. I think we are not aware of how much creative energy gets siphoned off in the daily humdrum business of much of our lives.

(Kim: But then something interesting happens...like a good conversation with someone...and I think...darn, I would have missed that if I wasn't here.)

Yes, I get that, too.

But I still think our time to make and think deeply about art is far too limited. In my life and in yours. And in the wider cultural life.

We need to find ways to protect that sacred space.

Conversations with others are very important. Because they are relational.

But our first and most significant conversation must be with ourselves, our primary relationship. Making art is the telephone line to that conversation.

Sometime, as in a good conversation, the longer we stay with it, the more we realize that there is to say.

That is where the frustration comes in.

You and I have created a partial solution to the issue of time. We have created a structure in which we are responsible to ourselves and to each other to make art on a daily basis. I am so glad we are doing this.

Like all solutions, it is not perfect. I do not believe in perfection. It is a utopian concept that gives us something for which we can continually reach. Like Sisyphus.

But our daily practice is something. As Anne Lament says so simply and eloquently, "Bird by bird."

(Kim: I like what William Blake said, "without unceasing practice nothing can be done. Practice is art. If you leave off you are lost.

I went today to an exhibit of Tom Hucks large complex woodcuts. I was very impressed with his technique, but totally uninterested in his images. I was telling Linda at dinner how I was having trouble expressing what bugged me about his images, and then I said that I hate narrative art. She started laughing because my art always has a story.)

Here's what I want to do. I want to figure out a way that I can spend more time making art.

There is so much I want to do.

Write more poetry.

Write more music and lyrics.

Write more articles for general publications but only on subjects that interest me.

Write more stuff with you. I would do anything with you, Kim. Truly.

Write a book with my sister.

Write a book with myself.

That is what I hope to do. Now I have to figure out a plan.

And despite the many demands on both of our time:

you as a dean, me as an arts administrator and artistic director,

you as a family man (Kim: and grandfather to me), me as a family daughter and sister,

both of us as friends and as people who care about our communities,

despite all of this...

if we get to a certain point in our lives—Hell, why am I mincing words—if we are on our proverbial deathbed, should we be fortunate enough to have that conscious time and stage setting, and we look back and feel that huge pull of regret that we did not make the art that we wanted to make...

(Kim: I also worry about regretting not eat bbq ribs and getting the sauce all over my cheeks.)

if we feel that regret and deep sorrow...

we will have no one to blame but ourselves.

We are responsible to make and protect our art.

No one else.

And you know what? I think this little exchange is today's posting.

Later,

Joan

Wed, Jan 25, 2006

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