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4/6/12

On the Latitude of Lassitude

A geographical location of the creative mind...

In the central desert of Arizona primarily there are two seasons: Fluctuating Mild and Flaming Hot, commonly referred to as winter and summer. There are two brief seasons in between we call fall and spring although those who live in true four seasons climate's mock us for not having a true autumn where leaves turn photographically splendid and a spring where the world seemingly jumps out alive as flowers brightly bloom. Personally I'd rather not go through all those seasons and changes of clothing and enjoy the mild winters we have and generally I'm in my element in the hot, hot summer.

For some reason the shift between winter and summer that we refer to as fall and spring bring on an inexplicable languor in my mood although my life is in balance and stable otherwise. I long ago gave up analyzing it but retain angst over why to some degree because...well, I have to have something to wring my hands about when bored. Logically I understand that the lethargy actually is a pause and recharging between my two creative seasons that coincide with winter and summer. Logic however has nothing to do with matters of mood and consciousness to souls like mine. That's another wisdom I have gained with age and learned to let go.

"It is as it is" as the common pronouncement goes.

It is spring in the desert now, the trees have long past budding and sprouted leaves almost instantaneously as they do in this latitudinal climate. The weather is warming at night, a sure sign that summer is on its way and suddenly we will one day find ourselves in blazing heat. The sun is already bearing down in its inimitable way as it does in arid lands. I am patiently waiting for the zest of life for me, creative energy and mind thrilling thoughts that cause me to make visual art and write to come along and they will.



If patience is a virtue I wasn't born with it but I have learned to cope with not having it. Sleep is a great comfort and storage house of unconscious ideas and I have no guilt about indulging in it for that reason. I also see no dishonor in doing nothing productive except what has to be done to maintain a household, pay the bills and keep the mind and body healthy with sustenance and mild exercise. It does no harm since for a large segment of the general population that is the core of their daily lives and they do little else. That is not a judgment on the average person merely a statement that if I engage in it while waiting simultaneously for summer and inspiration, so what?

During the two seasons of our winter and summer I create pretty good creative work for a modest unknown artist. In between I am still creating but to me it is production of mediocre work to keep myself busy and continue to hone my skills. Others may judge otherwise, one way or the other about the quality of what I do at any time but that must be somewhat irrelevant to me out of necessity. All creative people want to bring into being work that has meaning to someone else observing or absorbing their particular art form. Whether or not I do that is for others is not known to me and I'm not sure it is important at this point in my life that I do. Naturally it is my desire to give pleasure to the observer of what I create and it would be falsely humble of me to say otherwise but I am not consciously aware of whether I do or not.


Perhaps someday I will know but the important thing to me and the message I really want to impart to others who create is the therapeutic value of it for our own well being. Perhaps we might not be Sergei Rachmaninoff, Robert Rauschenberg, Ansel Adams or Walt Whitman and known in our own time or possibly we could be like Emily Dickinson and never know in our lifetime. We may be another fish in the stream that forges imaginative work that is great, good, average or just plain. It is all irrelevant in the long run since recognition is not always a sign of greatness and some pretty poor work is well recognized and shamefully bad.

What is of value is the importance that it is to us, that we do whatever is we do creatively and continue it to keep our lives from being as commonplace as much of the general population since otherwise for us it is quiet desperation. The meaning and happiness is important to us and very likely to those around us since they also experience the joy we get from making our art. Without that joy we live in frustration because we are not expressing our inner selves outwardly as required by the very nature of our individual souls. That also means sometimes we have periods that we must wait for inspiration and if we continue to work our craft, when ingenious eruptions do occur we are ready with tools and skills to bring them to reality.