I’ve decided to treat myself like a campsite: I won’t pitch my tent where it will flood, I won’t chop down all the trees to build a bonfire, and I won’t let anyone in who will leave it worse than when they found it.
An elderly lady says to me, I’m not artistic. I can’t do art.
I feel the weight of her words.
I say, art is a seed you plant, and everyone has a giant boot called a critic in their mind. This boot stomps around your garden. Everyone thinks the end point of art is to have a tree: to be Picasso, and that’s not it at all. Picasso is heavy. Even Picasso didn’t start out as Picasso. He had a tiny seed, and every day he came back and watered it. Stop trying to start with a tree. That’s not the goal of life. The goal of life is to die, and that’s not what we should focus on. Focus on the process of life. Focus on the process of art. Focus on watering the plant right now.
I see in her eyes a field, pounded flat by everyone’s boots.
It feels so oppressed, so I say, put your boots over here. Then water your tiny seed.
She tells me a story about a spiritual experience she had. She asks me what it means.
I say, take the story you just told me, and write it down. Write one paragraph. Water that seed. Then tomorrow, write down a different story. Then write down another story every day for a year, and at the end of that year you’ll have a book.
You’ll have a tree. You will have art.
Between my written voice here (Fortin Cormier), and my spoken voice here (What I Sound Like: Me reading chapter 21 of The Little Prince in English, French, and Spanish), I realise I enjoy expressing myself AND giving it to the world. I need to make the choices necessary to be able to produce and exhibit my work. Life is hard enough. I choose to focus on the positive, to be constructive. So this coming week, I will set the ball rolling by making the reservation to stay in Quebec City for a month or so. Then look at my options for Rimouski. I need to find living/studio space and start creating the life I want.