I like Cally's fire; check out her comment here.
"Risk" is a term used by artists quite often, isn't it? But like "fear", the concept doesn't feature in my life often. I fear car accidents, so I don't jump in front of a speeding car, but I don't even use these words often, particularly pertaining to weaving.
Two or three years ago, I noticed I became matter of fact about my weaving. Before that I loved every single piece I wove and didn't want to part with any, ever, but now once they're washed, pressed, dried, labeled and passed quality inspection, I can't wait to see the back of them. In fact, I now have around 10 pieces from the last 14 months and I don't know what to do with them; they've been shown, they didn't sell, they're not exactly Red Gallery or Sue Bateup's Gallery material, so they sit in a neat pile on the floor of my stash room, and I walk around them felling annoyed they still live here. I've given away few to charity. They're not ugly or bad pieces; I'm just over them. I check them with objective, critical eyes, and then I'm finished with them. (It's a good thing I don't have kids or pets, wouldn't you say??)
I need to weave between three to five warps to understand the characteristic of a particular yarn before I feel I know them. So I think it's stupid of me to use an unknown yarn when I have two weeks or three days for an exhibition or commission. But I do, and that's stupidity, not risk. I also change plans at the last moment, or decide to redo something at the last minute, but these are bad planning, not risk.
What I think I'm thinking is, I don't think I'm particularly reckless, but I don't think I stick to safe things only, either. I don't understand what artists mean when they say they are taking a risk.
It's been a very strange weekend, friends. To make up for not posting earlier in the month, I started writing about quite a few things, but couldn't finish any. I have over 20 drafts now, some with just the title and some with a paragraph, others with a bullet list of ideas or few photos, but I can't concentrate on any.
I keep thinking about Pekka Kuusisto and his ability to love his art so passionately, and wonder how on earth could I feel about my work even 1/100 the way he feels about his. More urgently, I am envious of him having found his thing, or having been born into his thing, (his grandfather, father and brother were/are musicians/composers), and how lucky is he to have had his thing in his youth.
I know I would not have been a good weaver if I discovered it in my teens and 20's, because I was much too impatient and hedonistic to try anything as slow as weaving. I remember a time in my life when one afternoon was forever. But I do remember, surrounded by cousins and friends who started piano and ballet such from age three, that the sooner I found my thing, the happier I would be, and the more I could contribute to the universe. In my teenage years, there was a time I was almost angry because even He didn't call on me, (I went to a Catholic convent school). I worked hard to find my thing, I studied reasonably hard and minded my parents reasonably well, but I couldn't and I knew that in the greater scheme of things, my life was being wasted, ergo I wasn't pulling my weight.
I look at Pekka's clip and envy the energy he pours into his art, and for his knowledge that is his purpose and the reason why he's here. He probably works hard at it and is undoubtedly immensely talented. And I am not deluded enough to compare my ability to weave to his ability to make music. But I am finding aging hard. Not the emotional stuff, I prepared for it for over a year and I thought I was in a good place, but I never thought the body would go so suddenly. I'm not seriously sick or injured, but all the minor complaints I've had in the last decade or so have all come home to roost, with gusto, at once, and I realize this physical decay is a one-way street. I will never have the kind of energy Pekka displays, or indeed I once put into my sports and poetry writing and my studies. And I want it so badly now that I've found my thing and am about to embark on living my life.
It doesn't excuses my spending two days gazing at the short YouTube clip. I could have woven several small pieces instead. But I feel sad and guilty having wasted my life to now, of having been deprived of my vocation. I feel angry, and I find this anger unpleasant and unproductive, because I thought I was emotionally prepared.
I hate being 50. I need a new identity.