If I could save time in a bottle, the first thing that I’d like to do…
Time continues to creep into my mind. How we perceive time. How we use time. How we abuse time. How we fear time.
It started earlier this year when I took a collage class. Assigned to create an accordian fold book an idea came to me for the book’s content during savasana in yoga. One side of the book would be black with the words “Who, What, When, Where, and How” stamped in white. On the other side a collage would be created interpreting the words.
The “when” page featured the white rabbit with his pocket watch, a man’s wristwatch with an eye peering out from the date, numbers and the following quote: “Time bears away all things…even our minds.”
Later in the year, the concept of time again worked its way into my head. I was contemplating sculpting dolls inspired by time related quotes, such as “Pressed for time.” I’m intrigued by how we verbally describe our use or abuse of time. The images these words conjure up can be quite funny.
In recent weeks thoughts of time reappeared when I wrote about harvesting your wealth. And my friend Karen told me about a new book she bought, Slow Time: Recovering the Natural Rhythm of Life by Waverly Fitzgerald. The concept behind this book is quite fascinating; it encourages readers, through exercises, reflections and stories, “to experience the flow and the rhythm of natural time.”
This past week I haven’t felt like much like posting; not feeling very “wordsmithy” and my time in the studio has been lacking. It certainly isn’t like I haven’t had time to devote to these areas; it is usually quite the opposite since my days are pretty much my own to schedule. But this lack of “motivation” (for lack of a better word) made me think about how time and seasons impact our productivity.
When we are little time seems to move so quickly. The days rush by as we play and enjoy life. Then, somewhere along the journey (perhaps in our teens?), time starts to slow down; days and months drag on. Everything is so boring. Soon, however, time starts to pick up again and we feel like we never have enough time to complete all those tasks we set before ourselves. We are overbooked.
Now, again, for me at least, time seems to be slowing. And though I have several items to complete on my task list I can’t get myself moving to get them done as quickly as I’d like. And what I realized late last week was that I needed to take a break from my expectations.
After my last show I gave myself minimal downtime. I had orders to fill and shipped out several of them straight away. Last week, however, instead of cranking out production pieces, I made a few here and there. I’m still within my proposed schedule for deliveries so this little break had minimal impact. I believe that my decrease in motivation was my spirit telling me that I needed to take the break that never really happened after the Paradise City show.
I’ve been cleaning in the studio and by clearing out boxes and setting stuff aside for donation, I can feel a weight lifting. Clutter can suffocate creativity. I’ve visited a couple bookstores and probably spent too much money but sometimes certain books call out to you.
This week I feel a little more refreshed and ready to do production work. However, the impact of time and what we make of it remains fresh in my mind. I’m giving myself permission to take more breaks away from the work table. The work will get done; it always does.
When you feel like your schedule gets the best of you, that your creativity is suffering, look at how you’re perceiving time, how you use time, and what your spirit might be telling you. We have nothing but time (as we’re always being told) but time is not something that we can control as much as we try to do just that. Perhaps your spirit is responding to the natural rhythms of time.
(And those kernels of ideas for interpreting time through my art are still percolating in my mind. They’ll let me know when it is their time.)