Tuesday, May 1, 2012


I realize this isn't a sculpture,
but I don't have pictures yet.
Monotype by the awesome
artist Lynn Peterfreund. She
makes pictures of crows!!!
So I totally failed to complete the A to Z blog challenge. I had ideas for X, Y and Z, honest- I pooped out because I spent the last four days of April getting paid to hang out without my pants on artist modeling for a renowned master sculptor & his class in the middle of nowhere on an idyllic farm in Ashfield, MA. I love artist modeling, and most of my best (and probably most ridiculous) ideas come to me while I am sitting very still in the nuddypants, being busily turned into art by very nice people who think I am a very good model except for all that pesky breathing stuff. (To be fair, they only voice the occasional wistful desire for me to cease being alive long enough for them to get the shadows on my ribcage right.) I thought up some swell themes for my final posts: Exhilarated and exultant for X (no, I don't consider it cheating - wouldn't you rather read a post about something I actually think about from time to time as opposed to some obvious and laborious excuse for an entry like Xanthippe or Xylophone? - although it should be noted here that my family does own a very fine xylophone, a large one, in a traveling case with stand, no less); yearning for Y; and zest for Z.

But to be totally honest, they're just variations on a theme. You want me to talk about zest? (No, I realize you didn't say you did. It's a rhetorical whatsit.) Okay, this thing here I said about vividness, it's basically about zest. Let me sum up my zest post for you: zest is a way of experiencing the world as being vivid and awesomely full of gifts. It's cool and stuff and it makes you excited and adventurous. Great, that's done. How 'bout yearning? BAM, this post is totally about yearning. Exultance? I pretty much got you right here. (Also, why is "exultance" not a word? One can be exultant; what one feels when one is exultant should be exultance. "Exultation" is a word, but it seems wrong to me, like a thing and not a state of being. I feel exactly the same way about the word evocative, although it is passive instead of active, which just makes things worse - one can find a thing evocative, a thing can evoke something in us, but what we feel when something is evoked in us is not evocation - a clunker of a word, without any hint of an essence contained in it - it ought to be evocativeness, or something. Also, eher I am tempted to make a slanderous remark about the idiotic use of Proust's Remembrance of Things Past and his stupid madeleine-induced memory as an example of an evocative experience. I always found it entirely too ham-handed and convenient a recollection to fit what I understand the word evocation to mean. The origin lies in the sense of calling up or calling forth, as in spirits or demons, and I have always thought it is an entirely more delicate and evanescent process than Marcel's "ah, dissolving cookie! Hmm, what's this I recall? Of course, tea with aunt Leonie on Sunday mornings!" But I digress.)

Anyway, long story short, I also didn't post anything because I was too busy getting into a really interesting thingamajig wotsit flame war internet conversation with Rob Guthrie over on his excellent blog about writing, called, straightforwardly enough, Rob on Writing. Rob is a great guy and a writer I admire, which is saying a lot, because I am a snobby, picky bitch when it comes to prose. I really like his blog a lot. He wrote a post which I took a very particular kind of exception to, however, and so I left a somewhat ill-considered comment. I was kind of surprised not to have any kind of response to my comment, since he's usually very good about replying to his commenters, and I thought (when I posted it) that it was an interesting thing to have said.

Well, I understood why when I wandered back through a couple days later and saw this post. He had very gently and clearly called me out on what I had said in the comment. He did it beautifully: expressing himself in terms of his own feelings and his own dismay at what I had said, and being gracious enough to compliment me as both a writer and a person as well as not naming me overtly. His post had all the more impact on me because he made it clear that he valued my opinion and was seriously crestfallen about what I had said. So I left a genuinely apologetic and explanatory comment, trying to make clear what I had meant to say, and fessing up as plainly as I could to the ways in which I had said it poorly, meanly, and uncompassionately.

To my great surprise and pleasure, I received an incredibly warm email from him not long after posting my reply. In it he told me that my apology had made his day, asked me if he could post my entire comment as its own post, as proof of the fact that civil discourse could exist in the wild war of the internet. I, in turn, was very very touched by his reaching out to me, and by his honesty in expressing his gratitude for my response. Which is to say we were one big disgustingly happy multi-email exchange of no, no, thank YOU and no, I insist, thank YOU and oh no, I couldn't possibly, thank YOU! And while that might seem kinda over-indulgent, in all honesty it was totally awesome. Because how often does that happen - in the real world, let alone on the internet - that a disagreement compounded with a misunderstanding can be resolved by forthrightness and emotional honesty into a conversation that creates, rather than destroys, two people's respect for each other? Anyway, it happened, and it was great, and it made me really happy to be doing this whole weird thing that is using the internet to talk to people about creativity. And here's the post he put up, in all its new-friends-yay gloriousness.

Also, I have a guest post coming up! In two parts! It's from Terry Holliday of My Creativity Blog, and it's all about ways to add creativity in daily life, and it's totally awesome and not cliche and you will like it. No exact release date, because I am trying to not lose my mind co-hosting a bellydance show with over 50 dancers on Friday, but stay tuned!!


  1. You two are just too dang smart. I feel like I write on the kindergarten level.
    I definitely think the world needs more art and it doesn't have to sell for a million bucks to be worthwhile. For me, it just has to make my living room look more interesting:)
    My hubby is an art installer as well as an artist. Last year he installed Damien Hirst's "Saint Sebastian" at the Goss Michael foundation. What a pain in the ass that was. Would I want it in my living room? No.

    1. Whoa. So he must have a whole different perspective on ultra-commercially-successful artists. Damien Hirst is the dude I almost always use as my example when lamenting the downfall of art in America. I would love to hear more stories about THAT experience.

  2. Well... Thank you for introducing me to his blog. It was an... interesting... conversation. :)
    Of course, as with the best disagreements, you were both correct. From different perspectives.

    1. Absolutely! But it's always hard - especially on the internet - to step back far enough to see the other person's perspective.

  3. Hey there! I just found your blog and I am quite thrilled that I did! I love the idea of a Museum of Joy! Creativity and its expression as a passion of mine (that I chronicle a www.paintbrushfire.org/blog). I look forward to reading more of your posts!
    Warm regards,

    1. hi Naomi, glad you stopped by! I just went and took a look at your blog, and whoa - what you're doing is AMAZING. I'm looking forward to conversations about creativity with you in the future. I'm moving back to the Bay in July, and I'd love to connect with you guys!

    2. Thanks for the props! My work is my passion & I am lucky to be able to do it. I'm also lucky to connect with fellow travelers like yourself. I'm looking forward to creative conversations and meeting you when you get back to the Bay!

  4. You almost made it and almost counts for something!

    Thanks for trying.

    Tossing It Out


Please do try to be thoughtful and considerate when posting comments, but we do love hearing what you think!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...