winter scene from walk

winter scene from walk

February is plum full- full of…well, life. The weather is not good and I struggle to keep working. while I work, I listen to audio books, music and the “not so quiet silence” (due to the sound of the heater) in my studio. The loneliness creeps in sometimes in the afternoon. Most days I am delighted to greet my teenage boys at the door after their various after school activities, ready to chat & ready for company (the boys, of course are ready to be silent & eat!) but, mostly I busy myself with thinking of color and design. I try to put my bigger thoughts on hold. My earrings give me purpose every day, the evening is for my knitting and felting. But my dreams and sleepless nights are full of big ideas. Big projects… deeper thoughts. Perhaps this is hormones, perhaps its insomnia, perhaps a it’s a “mid-life” thing.  But perhaps something big is brewing. I remain open.

I’ve just read back through this first paragraph and it ever so vaguely reminds me of an entry out of Ernest Shackleton’s diary,  I don’t mean to compare myself to the toughness and tenacity, heroism and leadership of Sir Ernest Shackleton (an explorer who set sail on a ship named The Endurance and lead his men to safety after spending 5 months shipwrecked in Antarctica).  I loved reading about this adventure and whole idea which set these men out to explore unknown land.  They sailed straight into the risk that lay ahead of them in the year 1914 just because they were curious and wanted to see what was around the next corner.  They endured so much hardship, both physical and mental.  I know nothing of this kind of hardship, but sometimes being an artist IS about endurance. That is the part I compare myself to.   Endurance…endurance through boredom, problem solving, criticism, ridicule, time constraints, hard work with no guarantees.  I thought of this as I worked in my studio, looking out the window on the monochromatic dimness of my barren, winter yard (as Sir Ernest and his men must have looked out onto the barren landscape of winter in Antarctica).  I’m not sure why I made this particular connection.  Every once in a while I do make connections and I am grateful for them, even if they are a stretch.  Anyway, I will soldier on. There might be something BIG just around the corner! After all, this is what we artists and writers (and explorers) live for isn’t it? We keep going and exploring our inner world and our outer world, hoping for that unbridled creative energy to lead us, to guide us into uncharted territory, and most importantly, to find the beauty in even the most mundane.  For there is beauty in everything.

PS.  I have not been listening to the audio book of, “Endurance”.  I read that book years ago and lived in New Zealand for a spell and learned more about Sir Ernest Shackleton while I was there.  I did, however, just finish listening to “The Mermaid Chair” by Sue Monk Kidd.  Talk about your mid-life crisis. Whooaaa! I did like it though.

~ by ambeckart on February 23, 2013.

One Response to “Endurance”

  1. Endurance is very important. Don’t forget to play. Sometimes play can do wonders for the creative mind. I’d say it is just as important and hard work and dedication.

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