500 Posts

on 17 February 2010

This is my 500th post.

Hm.  I thought I'd have more to show for 500 posts after 2 and half years of blogging.  Alas.  Not so much.

I wish I had more focus, more that was ready to share with you all.  I have a lot of thoughts shuffling around inside my head, but nothing terribly coherent.  I do, however, have a sick and crabby Boy at home.  He's been under the weather since late last week, I had hoped he would blow it off, but alas, he's gotten rather sicker than otherwise.

I have been thinking a lot about creativity.  About the act of creating something, whether it's crafty and tangible, edible or graphic, or the creation of another human being.  I keep thinking about the One whose providence creation is, and how patient He must be.  After all, it takes time to create things of great worth, human or otherwise.  And even when the Thing is created, it still requires time and patience to come to full flower.

[I am interrupted to think about our upstairs neighbors, I kid you not.  It sounds like they're having wrestling matches upstairs.  I have no idea what they're doing, and I don't think I really want to know.]

I find myself wondering, how do you know?  How do you know when a thing you have created is complete?  Finished.  How does the artist contemplate a painting and know when the last brush stroke has been applied?  How does a creator come to say, "Enough.  There.  That's it.  Any more and it will be ruined."

I read the Unknown Masterpiece by Honore de Balzac years ago, when I was reading for my comprehensive exams.  It's about a master artist who goes mad and can't stop painting his masterpiece and because of that, it's completely ruined.  It's just a black canvas.   He's added so many layers of paint to it that no one can tell what it was originally supposed to be.  Ever since I finished it, I have been haunted by this idea.

I wonder if I leave things to early, before they're finished, out of fear of ruining them by staying too long.  I love simple, practical projects that have a definite end point.  They take all the guess work out of it for my overly-analytical mind. 

But what if that's the point of creation?  What if we're supposed to...futz?  Mess up?  Toy with?  I don't know the right word, but practice playing with this balance between continuing to work on something and leaving it well enough alone.  Maybe THAT's the work our our lives, the things that we do, our education, our work, our marriages, our parenthood, they're all just the theaters in which we practice finding this balance.

I'm not sure.

I seem to be having a Funk of Uncertainty lately.  I second guess simple things and am riddled with self-doubt on the bigger things.  I spent a lot of last weekend sewing and found myself stitching things up, only to turn around and rip it out to try again and again and again.  In the meantime the fabric is becoming ragged as the stitching is ripped apart repeatedly.  Maybe I should just be leaving well enough alone, let the poor choices stand as witness of where I was when I made the choice and trust that my choices in the future will be a little bit better, wiser, more balanced, more patient.

After all, I'm not finished yet either.

2 comments:

Sibley Saga .... said...

I love reading what you have to share with the world. It gives my "sleep deprived post-partum depressiony" brain something good to do.

Erin P said...

Wow. I'm not sure how you think this should be more focused. Your analysis of the impossible balance between creating and deciding that that process is complete is at the very edge. The people I see every day don't even contemplate such things.

I don't have the answer, but I think there's only one way to find it: trust yourself. Trust yourself and try to understand that perfection on earth is imaginary, not reality.