The Well

"HOMAGE TO KEN",  2001,  22" x 22", starfish, earth, mica, ceramic

"HOMAGE TO KEN", 2001, 22" x 22", starfish, earth, mica, ceramic

My nephew graduated from high school.

I love him dearly and wanted to give him something special as a gift.

I am making him a book filled with some of the things that have helped me along the way.

Just a sort of ‘check-in’ place when it all just seems too, too much.

I was thinking about what I felt was the TOP thing I might begin his book with; the BEST piece of wisdom I know..

Here it is:

As I look around at our culture in particular, I see the decline of a tolerance for emptiness.. I listened to NPR the other day and they were reporting that the average time between text messages between teenagers is somewhere around 5 minutes.

At a restaurant the other day outside on the patio, a woman downed three glasses of wine at 11:00 in the morning as she talked incessantly on her cell phone totally disregarding my audible pleas to see the ‘no cell phone’ sign directly in front of her.

It’s alarming to register the need we now seem to have to fill in every single empty space inside us with SOMETHING..

A sound, a communication, a food, a belief, a fear..

Just SOMETHING to assuage the void.

As an artist, I know something about the void.

I go there regularly. I soften and let myself open to something I don’t know and hope to be led to create something of vitality.

I am concerned for the next generation who have no tolerance for or even much interest in taking a walk and just looking, or reading a book from cover to cover on a rainy day with a dog on the sofa with you, or just sitting there and absent- mindedly staring out the window or spending the whole day not speaking to another person.

I feel it in myself, this cultural impetus to get up and DO something! Got a minute? Make a list or call someone or, or, or…

If we’ve always got our attention on OTHER, we have this constant outpouring of life force and are so seduced by the ACT of ACTING and DOING that we don’t even notice when we’re EMPTY.

And THEN we seldom have a clue how to fill ourselves up again to stay sane.

That’s what I call THE WELL. I really sense we are losing the ability to find it when we are spent.

In the escalating chaos we all are in the middle of, unless we know ways to get back to THE WELL, we’re gonna run out of juice and not have a clue how to regenerate ourselves when the DOING is DONE.

I want my nephew to know how.

I think it’s different for each of us but behooves us to be clear in our minds about where that WELL can be found when we’re just too damn tired, crazy, spent, confused, stuck or all done in to figure it out when we need it NOW.

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