Thursday, August 4, 2016
why i make art to abandon...
Those are nice words. I've a tendency to minimize and use tact when truth is hard.
There were times in my life that I actually feared for my existence because a larger, stronger person threatened to take it away in a manner that assured me that they had both the capacity and the intent to do so, should they get tired of me.
There were times when my life was so chaotic and discombobulated that I didn't know what might happen from minute to minute. Then, being the good masochist that I am, I worked in a career that provided me with the opportunity to experience the trauma and fear of other people, particularly vulnerable people, in a close and immediate way. This sometimes also endangered my own physical well-being.
Is it any surprise to anyone that I like predictability? Serenity? Or, that I struggle with flexibility and release? I don't let go well. I don't like it when things don't go as I expect. I'm sure there are some people out there, right now, saying, "Oh! I LOVE surprises!" Well, bully for you. Really. I hate them.
For as long as I can remember, I've made art -- paintings and sketches, drawings and doodles, poetry and prose, stories, clothing, embroidery, shoes, furniture, and countless other things that employed creativity. I've sold some and gifted some, lost some, trashed some, donated, and redone.
But, now, I abandon them. Yep. I leave them in public places with a tag that says free art. (It says more than that, but the point is the same.) Its not my original thought. I bumbled onto a Facebook page called Art Abandonment...check it out, if you like....and, there was this concept...this worldwide movement based on a book...where artists (professional and rudimentary) just leave their art laying around in an attempt to spread a little good will. Some of the pieces are so simple, some are so intricate...jewelry, line drawings, colored pictures, painted rocks...the idea is all the same -- people trying to offer something good to the world, trying to lift the vibration of love by being generous and kind, by sharing a small part of themselves (this is what art IS, after all, don't you think?).
I fell in love with the concept, and began abandoning immediately. I sign only my first name and give no way to find me. I do include the info on the Facebook page and the email they maintain in case people want to report their finds or join in the leaving.
And, guess what happened?
The first time, I abandoned in another town that I don't frequent, drove away, and was OK. I wondered if someone found the piece, but was content that the universe would see it got to the right person. The second time, I got nervous...The art wasn't picked up right away. My insecurities flared crazily...
Its not good enough even to be free. I'm unwanted. Why am I creating trash that someone has to clean up?
Oh, yes. I went there. Then, I got distracted (thank goodness for my busy brain) for a while, and when my thoughts wandered back, I said a little prayer that whoever wanted it would find it, and I had to accept that maybe they'd find it in the landfill if that was what was in the plan. That got my head back in the right place.
I made the mistake, once, of abandoning in my own town. I drove back three times to see if it was still there. (It was.) And, I finally had to repeat my little prayer and make a deal with myself to not drive back there for a week. (I did bribe myself with ice cream. Hey! We all need a little motivation. Don't judge.)
I've abandoned several, since. I don't drop in my town anymore. The temptation to go look is too much. I do post most drops to the Facebook group, because I love it. I've got five pieces in various stages of process that will be abandoned.
No, I don't keep it or sell it if it turns out great. Yes, there are some pieces that I'm reluctant to abandon. I do it, anyway. This is really about learning release for me, you know, in the process of being kind to the world. Its also about faith -- faith that this has a purpose (as do I), faith that it matters (to them and to me), faith that the universe works things out without my insane attempts to control everything.
So, I'll keep doing my thing, learning to let go and let guidance of spirit run things.