How will I dance today? To what music?

Alan Watts – Why Your Life Is Not A Journey from David Lindberg on Vimeo.

I found this lovely, mesmerizing piece on Facebook (hat tip to Denise) and experienced a moment out of time as a result. It wasn’t something I didn’t already know – my ‘journey’ over the last two years has very much been about being with what is without thinking too much about the outcome – but it was a gentle, lovely reminder.

We don’t dance to get to the end. We dance to dance.



As a journal artist, I often find myself face to face with a blank page, and I will admit that *sometimes* the goal is to fill it up so that it looks and feels the way I want it to. When I enter my practice (because that is what it is) with that end goal in mind, it’s often because I *need* that sense of control. I need to know that I can begin a thing, & end it. I need that sense of satisfaction, that sense of accomplishment. I’m not so much dancing with the page as I am racing toward a desired outcome. A ‘failed’ spread, when I’m in that state of need, can ruin my day.

In my personal play time, though, I approach my practice from a place of curiosity. There is no clock to race. There is no desired outcome. I approach as though the journal is a portal that leads to my inner landscape, and I just want to know what’s going on in there. It’s dabbling. It’s uninhibited. It has no point. It doesn’t have to make sense. It doesn’t (*gasp*) even have to look good, though pleasing my own senses is a very important part of my practice, as long as the emphasis is on *my own senses* and I’m not worrying overly much about how the onlooker will receive what it is that I’ve created.

That’s the best place to approach from, in my experience. It doesn’t matter, when I come at it from that entry point, what the results are. What matters is that I have given myself some space to be with what is.

You know that saying, “Dance like no one is watching”?

I want to paint like that, too, and not just in my personal play time, but in all my work.

I don’t want to wonder, when I’m coming to that climax we all recognize as ‘done’, how the thing I’ve created looks to anyone else. I don’t want to wonder if I’ve wasted anyone’s time with my need to add layer after layer after layer until I’m exhausted & replete. I want to paint from a place of total abandon, with absolutely no consideration for what other eyes might light (however kindly) on my secrets.

I want to create for my eyes only, and bravely share without fear of judgment.

This is how I’ll dance today.

Like no one is watching.

And you?



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