Saturday, August 2, 2008

Interpreting Balance

Given this month's balance theme, I thought of a couple of design possibilities for another page in my fabric book.  The fact that I can come up with a few different ideas in the course of 30 minutes must mean I'm making progress in translating a concept to a fiber project.  But I will confess right now that all of my ideas seem trivial:  a  scale; a yin-yang symbol; a seesaw.  See?  Trivial, easy.

Which all got me to thinking about how I measure balance in my life.   Am I in balance if every day ends up as planned?  Fat chance!  If I end a month feeling like my life has been satisfactorily split among family, paid employment, friends, education, relaxation and free time, then is my life in balance?  Maybe.   Am I closer to being balanced at the end of a year, decade or quarter century?  How do I measure balance in my life?  And how would I express it in a fiber project if I could define it?

One way I balance my emotions and my schedule is to write morning pages (see Julia Cameron's "The Artist's Way" and my personal favorite, "The Sound of Paper.")    But my morning pages are so personal that I am not sure I want to work them into an art project of any kind.

Another way I balance my creative life is to read something inspirational every day.  Right now, it's "The Last Lecture" by Randy Pausch and Anne Lamott's "Plan B."  The chapters are short enough that I can read for a few minutes and then think about the message as I drive to work or make dinner.

And I walk in the State House gardens almost every day to regain balance after a busy morning at my desk.  South Carolina has one of the most beautiful public gardens, with winding paths and gorgeous monuments.  Even when the temperature is 103 F during these dog days, I try to get out and walk in the gardens every lunch hour if only for 20 minutes or so.

So I guess I do certain activities to put balance back in my life.  I have my daily list of must-do's and the only option is to add additional activities that give meaning to the have-to's on the list.  Hmm.  Looks like I am making myself busier in order to achieve balance.  I wonder what Henry David Thoreau would say.

All this philosophizing still doesn't help me define what I am going to do for this month's TIF challenge.   I am truly drawing a creative blank at the moment, so I guess I need to walk away and fold some laundry or do some weeding.  Maybe the inspiration goddess will swoop down and wave her magic wand over my head while I'm busy with one of the must-do's. 

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