Pay Attention to the Good Stuff

The world works in funny ways. We try to make sense of it through belief systems or therapy or art or superstition. But really, do we have any idea how it works?

One of my favorite artist teachers: Tony May, Two Unretouched Photos, 1860 & 1987, 1987. Photo by Dale Leslie.

I am beginning to think that when things align in our favor, it’s important to pay attention.  I’ve never been very good at this. I am partly superstitious – if I get too excited maybe the good karma fairy dust will fade away. And I am also misguided – too much happiness and people may think I am full of myself or something dumb like that. But I’m not cool enough to keep it cool.

One of my art+life teachers: Lea Feinstein, Pangolin, 2001, Folded and Dyed Tyvek on Wood Panel

I’ve been feeling really grateful and I want to share it. I’m receiving some measure of feedback for questions and requests I’ve thrown out into the world and it feels right. Like they are maybe the questions I need to be asking.

An important teacher at CCA: Jon Rubin (collaboration with Harrell Fletcher), North Beach Parking Garage (this is one of my favorite works of their collaboration), Image from artandarchitecture-sf.com

Next week I’ll be teaching my first art class to college students at CSUMB. The job came unexpectedly – and it’s the kind of opportunity I’ve been looking for, asking people about. (How does someone who wants to teach art in the Bay Area get her foot in the door? This is what I kept asking. The answer: you tell everyone that’s what you want to do. And then two weeks before classes start you get a phone call because someone can’t teach a class in the last minute. Then, you say yes.) And now a new adventure begins. I’m excited and nervous about being stretched and challenged in this process.

I’ve been reading about sand tray therapy this morning. Totally intrigued by it but also love how the set up looks.

I’m also been asked to propose how my art can operate in public spaces I really care about – including a hospital, San Pablo Ave in Berkeley and a park in Nashville.  These are the kinds of spaces where I want my work to live, and so it feels validating that others feel the same way.

While I don’t know what these things will look like yet, I’m grateful. Excited. Anxious. Ready. Thanks for reading.

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I love this sign. For its content, its design, line drawing and hand painted text.

 



One Thought

  1. Christine Wong Yap says:

    “Don’t worry about cool, make your own uncool.” —Sol Lewitt (via LPP)

    Kids focus on learning to control their physical selves and the environment around them. When they’ve mastered some of those things, e.g., are old enough to start playing sports, for example, they turn their attentions to mastering their internal, emotional selves. The easiest way to demonstrate control over your emotions is to “act cool”—to show that you don’t get too upset, and conversely (and tragically), excited, about anything. (paraphrased from Csikszentmihalyi & Rochberg-Halton)

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