Thursday, January 16, 2020

Arrow and Pivot | Modern Kinetic Art | Mark Leary Designs

Mobiles: Pivot II, Arrow

 On directions
“But where am I supposed to go?” asked bird.
“Perhaps,” invited fox, “a better question might be ‘where am I now?’”

Thoughts while making
There’s a path on the side of my house. Nine oversized pavers mark the way. For 20 feet or so, you enjoy concrete-y goodness underfoot.

It’s a straight line. A sure shot. Makes you feel like you’re heading places, moving with purpose.

And then it just stops. Beyond that, get out your map, my friend, because you are on your own.

The idea had been simple: create a walkway from my side door to The Shed (aka my studio).

In the spring, grass between my toes is a delight. Yet, since Portland winters are wet, all that walking back and forth creates a slip-n-slide of mud and downtrodden grass.

So, this summer, I found the pavers, prepped the soil, got to work … and stopped woefully short, about halfway to my destination.

“I have plenty of time,” I told myself. “Plenty of time to wait to finish until [fill in the blank]: it’s cooler, it’s warmer, the ground is softer, I don’t have so many other things to do,” and on and on.

Big surprise: No other pavers have been laid.

For the first few weeks this winter, *every* time I made that trip - dozens of times a day - I was focused on what the path wasn’t rather than accepting what it was. I berated myself for not finishing, leaving it undone, failing.

How often do we struggle against what isn’t rather than embracing what is, inventing stories of lack and scarcity rather than seeing what is truly there?

I saw a brilliant @brianandreas illustration today that reads, “Try to remember it’s Always Whole, even Where you only see parts.”

In this case, that path has always been complete, always Whole. But I – focused on what parts I told myself weren’t there – was missing the opportunity to see what was: to slow down (so as not to slip), to pick my own path, and feel gratitude that I get to create art for others.

Together, these mobiles remind me of the many and varied paths we each tread every day and the opportunities that lay in every step.

Where’s one place you can gently shift your story from what’s “missing” to a gratitude for what is?


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