On tipping the balance:

I learn a lot every day. About how to be here/happy/human. I’d like to share and also to string words out of my head so I can knit them into something like a crash pad. And so maybe you can help me tie up the holes.

watercycle and seasons of trees

Last year at life school we had visiting speakers. A couple of them, the lovely/articulate Yolande Clark and Danielle Hogan, were the first people to tell me how NOT balance work with life, but rather integrate it. This way you aren’t confining parts of your self and questing after elusive (impossible) perfect balance. But I haven’t figured it out yet, how to do it.

I was thinking about a blog and how I like to blog about process but it feels like I repeat a step by step rundown already apparent in photos. The parts I need to rehash for my growth are exactly the parts that come off as negative, for others. I’m thinking of ways I can use the blog constructively, to write about the inside things that are harder to say with only pictures.

Sun paintings_1


And maybe let us get to know each other. If you’d like that sort of thing.

I’m going to stop presenting my work as seen from some objective outside observer, and rather show how my mind affects my work, and my ability to do it. How the books that I read and the people I talk to are a catalyst for big internal earthquakes. And maybe you can relate. Please, do let me know how you relate.

watercycle block split

If we remove the person from the work, it sort of cuts out the footing. We don’t relate. Last fall at Canadian Crafts Federation symposium on Heirloom they talked about creating a story that will follow your work through its various relationships. To me that means being sure to attach your story to your work. Not just a piece about nature but a piece about nature which came from my experience of roaming through Fundy park and losing all my worries, all my monologue. And trying to find some way of re-organizing my mind to feel at home in the city, to recognize that even our cities are nature, we made them. They are our hive.

Me in Moncton (2)

I would guess to live a life of work/play merged is all of owning that perspective. The guilt I feel when life comes over work is a trick. There is no such thing as putting life over work. All of the work I have done has been continuous, inseparable, from life. What is work but a pass-time I chose? Maybe I like the physics definition best:

Workdisplacement of the point of application in the direction of the force.

pumpkin ring

In other words, steps taken in the direction of your intention. I would wish that on all my friends.

2 thoughts on “On tipping the balance:

  1. glad you’re putting this out. Been thinking of starting up my blog again with a similar intention of ‘behind the work’.
    You got me thinking about balance as a word and concept. Balance like a see-saw, two things in opposition, or balance like the Zambian women we would watch with a collection of things on their head, gracefully walking along the road. We each have to find the word, concepts that resonate for us as individuals. For me, from a ‘be here now’ point of view, it isn’t compartmentalization that is going on when I separate studio from meditation from house chores from eating from social interaction, it is focusing on the intention of the moment. Mindfulness is the integrating element. If I could be mindful throughout (not yet), I suspect I would find both balance and integration, somewhat naturally arising rather than personally structured. Balance, as in ecology, does ebb and flow and isn’t a static arrangement, but there is a relationship. Having just finished the teaching gig for the year, I am finding, developing new patterns for my days. I do start with identifying my intention though, that’s helpful.

    1. Glad to see your thoughts! I like your exploration of the word, how it can mean things other than opposition. I would prefer to be the Zambian woman with a full basket. When you talk about the balance of ecology it gives an interesting visualization for the parts of a life. Like work and chores and garden are all companion plants, and how to make them more hospitable to one another, compatible.
      Like you I try to be mindful of all moments equally but find when something is labelled work it immediately takes on a sort of necessity which precipitates urgency and worry. All rushing through to pull me out of the moment (and contentment). Have you experience overcoming that?

      I look forward to seeing you write on your blog after a *small* hiatus ;) You have good things to say and should say them, more.


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