After a time, active waiting fades. It has to. One just cannot hold stark vigilance indefinitely. We get sleepy, need some popcorn, remember what we didn’t remember earlier.
Have you tried meditating? A moth lands on the knee. A dog barks, the door squeaks, there’s that unfamiliar electrical humming….again. And that’s just the outside stuff. The mind abides in its job of unceasing cognitive narrative, past and future. The body itches and aches, is too cold, gurgles and needs unkinking. We drowse. And yet nearly any meditation instruction will tell you that’s perfect: a complicated and obvious attending to the present moment exactly as it is. Allow. Allow. Allow.
Last post I talked about distracting myself from worrisome hyper-vigilant waiting by playing the piano…or, my new keyboard ploy, writing about waiting. I was then waiting to present my work for jurying to become an Exhibiting Member of the ACGA and my mind was looping through my packing, breakage, my set-up, imagined traffic snarls, breakage, low blood sugar, pressure to execute and stay attentive and in my body. Breakage and breakdowns. I was deeply on edge and vulnerable as hell and I was concerned about that too.
Still, I felt good about my work – mostly! – but not sure about successfully getting it seen because of my own bumbling. Over and over I ran my game plays. So much out of my control.
It actually could not have gone much better. People were personable and positive. The vibe in the room of about twenty artists, while pretty intense, was professional. I couldn’t do the set-up I had practiced, needing to adjust it for the half-well-lit table location -that I chose! – but I still could think on the fly, telling myself to move slowly and thoughtfully. No rush. It’s all just fine.
Here’s a shot of one part of the room, with my friend Susana Arias’ sculptures in the foreground and my set-up in the back far right.
And here’s my presentation.
Once set up, we left for a few hours to grab a bite and see family. That night San Francisco could not have had more threatening traffic and steeper streets, with the GPS maddeningly mispronouncing their names, such as “DAV-ace-derro” for Divisadero. Just wrong, stupid GPS lady-voice! And of course I was on edge the whole evening thinking we would not be able to return on time to pack up and they would put my stuff out in the hallway like they had said they would.
Yet, once home with everything put away, everyone thanked, and a few nights of better sleep, I forgot to actively wait. I remembered what I hadn’t remembered earlier and got back in the studio with some new clay and new forms. I played with the dog, did laundry, commented on Facebook, meditated, visited with my Mom.
And when I offhandedly checked my email last night, there it was, a missive from the ACGA, with the Message Snippet blessedly saying, “Dear Liz, I am happy to inform you…..”
So, now…. new waiting of a different sort, tempered with validation, gratitude, wonderment, gusto, a wee bit of aw-shucks-I’m-not-worthy and a whole lot of curiosity about what happens next. Allow. Ole. Allow.