Nothing creative got done this week, much to my chagrin. I got my date for back surgery, then this week got a call rescheduling it to July 20th (only a week later) which then generated a flurry of phone calls from various sources at the hospital asking questions and imparting wisdom. All good but time consuming as I look around at what I should take care of in the coming few weeks before movement and lifting restrictions take effect. I look at this as I did my cataract surgery last year about this time - knowledge that much of my life will go on hold while I recover, but at a point where it simply must be done so I can get back to activities that now are literally a pain to do. Oddly enough, sitting at the machine doing that satin stitching didn't seem to bother me but the distance I can drive without setting things off has gotten shorter and shorter and I can't walk very far either. Not the way I expected to age but I know I am not alone in this.
And then on Friday I had scheduled an internet upgrade from my provider. They've been putting in fiber lines in the area for awhile and now my neighborhood was ready to be hooked up at bargain introductory rates. Sure, why not? But I have yet to have any technological change or upgrade go smoothly and this was no different. Suddenly my laptop could not access the network without setting up my pc with a mobile hot spot that it could connect to. The installer couldn't figure it out though he tried many things and finally hit upon the hotspot idea as a work around until I could contact Tech Support or figure it out on my own. I looked at so many things on both computers that didn't make a difference and discovered that the installer was wrong about being able to put my pc in sleep mode as I usually do and still have network access with the lap top. When I have more time to spend on the phone, I'll see what Tech Support says, but in the meantime, I discovered I couldn't print or scan from the pc! I originally set up the 3-in-1 printer to connect to the pc through blue tooth but now it wouldn't do that. NOOOO, this printer now wanted me to connect directly to the network (which actually went fairly smoothly) but I still couldn't communicate between the pc and printer. Now I can't remember what I stumbled on to change that magically turned on the scanner, and now it would take print jobs too - hallelujah! But it did take hours of messing around to get it all working together again. Not sure this extra speed and quality is worth it . . .
So this week I share an article on inspiration that I'd set aside but failed to include in any blog post as near as I can remember. If I have, it's been long enough that it's worth a second read. The title alone is wonderful and speaks a bit to what I'm going through at the moment: "Artist Agnes Martin on Inspiration, Interruptions, Cultivating a Creative Atmosphere, and the Only Type of Person You Should Allow Into Your Studio". Here's a taste:
"An inspiration is a happy moment that takes us by surprise.
Many people are so startled by an inspiration or a condition of inspiration, which is so different from daily care, that they think that they are unique in having had it. Nothing could be further from the truth. Inspiration is there all the time for anyone whose mind is not covered over with thoughts and concerns, and [it is] used by everyone whether they realize it or not.
It is an untroubled state of mind. Of course, we know that an untroubled state of mind cannot last, so we say that inspiration comes and goes, but it is there all the time waiting for us to be untroubled again. We can therefore say that it is pervasive."
I do love that part about it taking us by surprise and that it is there all the time waiting for us to be untroubled again. I've gone through several long droughts of inspiration in say the last 5 years and suspected it was partly because I was troubled. As for interruptions:
". . . Martin urges artists to create a sanctuary for inspiration — a space devoid of busyness and dedicated to unburdened clarity of mind, with “no telephone,” where one is “to be disturbed only if the house is burning.” . . . Because the studio should be a sacred space for the untroubled mind, Martin recommends avoiding physical clutter in order to prevent mental clutter. . ."
Let me tell you, my studio is nothing BUT clutter these days, has been for quite awhile, more so than just the normal kind of clutter that actually sparks ideas unbidden. I long to find a happy medium to that. Maybe I can address some of that while I convalesce.