Yesterday morning I woke up at 5:00 and sat at my computer for several hours. I read updates on Facebook and I read the news. Then I searched on-line for quotes from famous artists about art.
I didn’t write.
I took all of my clothes out of my closet and dumped them on the floor in my bedroom. After I made a mess in my bedroom I went in the basement and started to sort through boxes. I took several boxes from the basement and put them in the garage. Really, I should move everything from the basement to the garage again. I started to take apart the K-Nex roller coaster and I washed some of the dishes in the sink.
I didn’t write.
For breakfast I had two sardines and a cup full of peas. I didn’t have time to cook because I was taking apart the roller-coaster.
I drove my son and his bird to the Avian Veterinarian and then I drove my oldest daughter to school so she could use the computers to finish her Typography homework. I forgot to shoulder check and I cut off a blue car. When I looked in my rearview mirror I saw a woman’s angry face and her middle finger. I waved to say I was sorry. Then I almost drove over two students who were crossing the street at the cross walk at the entrance to the parking lot at school.
I was going to write in the library while I waited for my daughter, but I sat in the car and cried. Then I drove for 15 minutes down highway 100 and picked up my new business cards.
After I got my cards I drove back to school and picked up my daughter, then I came home and read Facebook updates and read my e-mail.
I didn’t write.
Then I drove my oldest daughter to her job and came home and helped my youngest daughter get ready for her audition. She wants to be a fighting mouse in the Christmas play at DCP Theater in Telford, Pennsylvania. I put frozen fish sticks and Tater Tots in the oven and read my e-mail again.
Then I had to leave to drive to my typography class. I ate another two sardines and a hand full of sugar snap peas. The kitchen counters were still covered with dirty dishes, my clothes were still all over the floor in my bedroom, and the basement was still full of boxes.
The night class was over at 9:30 and it took me an hour to drive home. When I got home I didn’t’ write or wash the dishes or take apart the roller coaster. I read Facebook updates, my e-mail and the news. As I was reading the news I feel asleep. Then I shut my computer and went to bed.
Today I am writing.
There are no rules, so quit trying to make them
My life is full of rules. I told you the day before yesterday, “There are no rules in art.” And, yes, that’s true there are none. I don’t see a list written anywhere that is telling me how I should draw, or what I should draw. But I keep trying to make rules about my art. I keep trying to make rules about how I write or what I write about.
I told you, “It’s your art. Don’t worry about what people think.” But I worry. I worry about what you think about my art. I worry about what you think about my writing this month.
The rule that tells me, “If you said you were going to have the theme, “Make Art” for the month of October at thenester.com in the Two Awesome to Categorize Category, then that is all you can talk about. You can only talk about how to draw. Don’t tell them about the time your camera broke when you on assignment in New Orleans with a Japanese fashion client, and you didn’t have a back-up camera.”
The rule that says, “You can’t talk about art because you’re not famous. So just find famous quotes about art and repeat what they say.”
The rules that say, “To be accepted you must be like everyone else. Do 31 days of crafts. Dye your hair, don’t show the gray, wear high heels, wear make-up, carry a purse, be quiet, don’t tell anyone what to do, don’t leave the house with a sink full of dirty dishes, women don’t mow the lawn, men do, cut your hair short, don’t pick your nose, only have one cat, copy my gray owl, don’t make your own owl.”
Maybe they are not official rules, maybe they are more expectations. Or maybe I just worry too much about what you think.
“Oh, they started to read me thinking they would get art lessons, and that is not what I am doing.”
So yesterday I didn’t write. My words were stuck in my head. I avoided writing because I was following the rules I made.
My clothes are still all over the floor in my bedroom, the basement is still a mess, and the kitchen counters are still full of dirty dishes. This morning I have to clean the seven litter boxes and drive my daughter to catch the bus to school.
I don’t need to make up rules. I don’t have to worry about what you expect from me. All I can be is me. And if I can’t be me, then why bother.
All you can be is you. Have courage, be yourself. [Would you like to tweet that? tweet tweet]
Today I am me. Today my owl is orange.
(Excuse me while I run over to another tab on my computer and look for a quote by someone else to encourage you to believe in yourself. )
There’s nothing more daring than showing up, putting ourselves out there and letting ourselves be seen.
― Brené Brown
I want to be seen. I just don’t want to be seen picking my nose.
And, I do pick my nose. Just not in public.
Do you make up rules for yourself?
What color is your owl?
Please tell me in the comments. I want to know what you think.