Last night I went to listen to my friend’s poetry performance. Sitting there in the front row of the auditorium, I noticed three panels on the front of the stage. One was a normal electrical outlet; another looked like an outlet but for round plugs. I was most curious about the last; it had things that moved and flipped up. I suddenly had an image of my son when he was small, getting right down there and checking it out; I lamented that I could not get down on my knees and explore this curiosity. And why couldn’t I? Because I’m a grown up and grown ups aren’t free to scrutinize the world in the same way as a child. We must be careful about how we draw attention to ourselves. We must be composed and proper.
Alex was calling attention to himself up there on the stage. He is a brave man and is able to express his art freely. Would he crawl on the floor to look at an outlet? I think he is secure enough in himself to do that if he wished.
My husband is always suggesting we do silly things, like dress funny and walk downtown. I think he would, too. Me, I’m too tight-laced, as much as I would love to do it. I used to know a woman back in Colorado who had a regular date with her sister to dress up as “pretty ladies” and go out to eat. They wore gobs of costume jewelry, fancy hats, and fake furs. I thought that sounded like so much fun.
I know that it is important to my art to let go of fear and not worry so much about what others might think of me. When I approach my art as play rather than serious business, I am more successful in the outcome; I have way more fun. It’s such a battle trying to balance the serious business of creating an art career, and forgetting about that part and just existing within the art, getting messy with paint and glue.
This will be a learning process; it will be difficult for me, but I’m willing to try. Today I’m going to do something outlandish, or at least mildly silly. I don’t know yet what it will be, but I vow to be open to the opportunity.