It’s midway through the day and I’m thinking three rows ahead, down at my knitting. It’s been 6 hours and whoa. I have completed, wait for it…wait for it… Three. Whole. Inches. 😐 This is a decent accomplishment, but I’m not admiring these fresh stitches. I’m calculating those three inches, into hours, and multiplying them by the knitting yield of the full piece, and then dividing that by seven and then counting down the few remaining days I have left until my critique with the dean. (10 days).
At this rate I should finish this single layer of my first look by, mm, next Tuesday.
I realize this same time comparison has actually been going through my head all day on repeat. Inch by inch, hour by hour, day by day, minute by minute stitch by stitch by cup of coffee, by stich, I have been calculating my deadlines. The moment when I finish this piece, so I may move onto the next and begin calculating again, but as exhausting as it is to think about and as exhausting as this is to read, you should all know that there is a time when this chess game in my head quiets.
Two days a week, on Monday and Wednesday mornings, I have an art history class and it is my favorite moment of the entire week. It’s a time when I get to sit and pause and just look at artwork. It’s so soothing. I’m not thinking in terms of a plan and a deadline. There’s no pressure. My boyfriend and I sit aside each other, both of our minds moving a mile a minute, admiring art, coming up with new ideas, and laughing at our professor’s ridiculous, interpretive, dancing. Yes, this really happens.
It’s a pause. It’s a soak. I always have a pen and paper ready, but not to write down the names of the artists or the dates of the paintings we cover in class; I have an entire notebook willed with new ideas.
As an artist, we need pauses. Soaks. We need to be inspired without the pressure of creating. Because when you’re not looking for something beautiful, is often when you find beauty in things the most.
Here are some of my favorites art pieces that I should have written in my notebook: