Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Timing Is Everything

 
I was down at the beach the other day trying to catch a photo of the surf and I was finding it frustrating to hit just the right moment to catch the wave...

http://www.teresa-young.net/I know surfers have coined a phrase for this, but when you think about it, much of our life is about 'catching the wave'.  If we aren't paying attention when opportunity knocks, we might not even hear it!

I think that this really serves as an accurate analogy for life in general.  It's often all about the timing...  When we stop and smell the roses or talk to someone who might lead us down a path that we are meant to follow, we are in the right place at the right time... 


http://www.teresa-young.net/Nowadays, we are often rushing around trying to get through our tasks that are so very, very important, and we don't pay much attention to what's around us.  Who knows how many times you've rushed by that individual that might impart some nugget of wisdom necessary for your life's evolution?

When I was working in the IT industry out west, I was often too busy to do anything other than my job!  Whatever energy I had left over at the end of the workday was used to grab the small necessities of life and not much else...  After years of this day to day cycle my horizons literally shrank for me, because I just wasn't enjoying being alive!  I was just rushing to get things done and not seeing the world around me. 
http://www.teresa-young.net/
This had an effect on me in many ways, many of which I wasn't even aware of...  As an artist, I didn't stop painting and drawing because I found that I had to hang onto that particular anchor to maintain my balance and sanity... But I'm very sure that my artwork suffered in unseen ways even though I was still doing it regularly.

If you are hanging onto where you are at and you not growing and experimenting, it's just treading water...

I found that the way I was living was turning into a very grey existence for me, without colour or vibrancy.  For an artist, that's like a sort of living death!
http://www.teresa-young.net/http://www.teresa-young.net/
I wonder how many of us sink into the abyss of mundanity without realizing that we are throttling our inner selves in the process?  I don't believe anyone seeks that kind of existence, it just sort of sneaks up on us quietly...

The stress that occurs over time with that sort of existence is rampant these days...  I was talking to different people prior to leaving the west and found out that in technology jobs such as IT, people are stressing out and finding it harder and harder to cope...  In fact, it's so bad that workers will be 'used up' by large corporations and then downsized when they are no longer effective.  That sounds pretty cold, but it's the way the world often works these days...  I have a friend whose husband spent many decades with a large company and was downsized less than a year before he was due to retire...  It was toxic and demoralizing for this man as he felt that he had been used and rejected, which on some level he was.

The ability to extricate yourself and move into a better environment is something not everyone can do.  We trap ourselves with mortgages and lifestyles that require we stay firmly planted where we are with no deviations...

And really, what kind of existence is that when you get right down to it?  You know what you are doing, day in, day out, and there are no real variations on the theme...  It's no wonder I got bored in my own way.  As an artist, I need to have a feeling that life is a mystery, that there might be something around the corner that is new, that I don't expect...  Within the mosiac of our society, Artists aren't really painted as seeking a stereotypical existence...  And it's probably for good reasons.  I'm a round peg that didn't fit into a square hole!

I really don't know what I'm going to be doing tomorrow and for a lot of people, that would be a very scary thing.  For me, it's freeing... 

http://www.teresa-young.net/Nowadays, I feel inspired to paint and experiment with my art in ways that I hadn't felt before, and it's the uncertainty and freedom that I'm experiencing here that is feeding that creative flow.

But the odd thing is, I would work in computers again, no problem... I went and took an engineering degree because I like to use my brain to problem solve and think.  It also provides a good balance to my artwork, because they use different parts of the brain.  But I would think long and hard before I signed on with a large corporation with a hierarchy in place that dehumanized people...  It's easy enough to recognize when you are on the outside of it!

But we are the sum of our experiences, and I believe that as artists, it is important to have a wider world view to give depth to your art.  And timing is everything... My artwork did not have the depth twenty years ago that it has today, I believe the maturity and viewpoint I've developed through my experiences has reflected itself into my artwork.  And that is enriching in itself.

Images - photos and artwork by Teresa Young:
1. Peggys Cove Wave - April 2010,  2. Convergence - Feb.2010,  3. Unnamed Abstract - Mar.2010,  4. Fleeting Eternity - Jul.2001,  5. The Crowbar - Nov.2001,  6. Mahone Bay - Jan.2010,  7. Golden Dreams - Apr.2001.

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9 comments:

Toulouse LeTrek said...

Wonderful post, Teresa!

You speak an existential truth, one that I have discovered in my travels around the world: we are the sum of our experiences and more. If we do not take the time to experience and cherish life's precious moments (and they are often fleeting moments) then we become avatars of ourselves.

As a student of the Zen of Travel (see www.toulouseletrek.com), I find that travel serves a good metaphor for the journey of life.

Travelers may range between two extremes: those who focus on the journey and those who focus on the destination. While the latter ensures that you get there, you miss out on the journey, which is usually the most significant and time-consuming part; the former ensures enjoyment without guaranteeing that you will reach your destination.

As with most things, a balance would seem best, one that focuses on the journey without losing sight of the destination (which may, in fact, change based on one's experience in one's journey): a journey with purpose and with vision...

So, when will you come to Paris and experience the Louvre and Musee d'Orsay and the cafes along the Seine?

Ton ami,
Toulouse :-3

Mel said...

I love your thoughts :) always have! I vowed not to work any overtime this week and just enjoy the changing of the seasons and our new furry addition to the family :) Balance is key - thank you for reminding me of this :)
Hugs!

Dalifan said...

Great comment Toulouse! I especially like the part where you mention that we can become avatars of ourselves...

It's an interesting concept because it conveys the feeling of not being whole and totally here in very few words!

Thanks,
Teresa;-)

Dalifan said...

Mel,

Thanks for the comment! I have always valued your insight and stopping the smell the roses is something we should all try to do sometimes;-)

Enjoy the spring and your new pet;-)
thanks! T;-)

Darlene said...

I really enjoy reading this post T.
As I remember some of my journey's I've been on, I couldn't stop and time to smell the roses or take a picture.

So now I try to capture the moment with a picture.

Dar

Dalifan said...

LOL! Great idea Dar;-) It allows you to 'get the picture'... HaHa!

Thanks for the comment!
T;-)

SF Girl said...

Great post, Teresa, and great message... It is the subtle that kills us, isn't it? Like the lobster in the pot...

Freedom is like that too... If we don't remain vigilant and protect it with our hearts, it too will slip away before our very eyes...

I guess it comes down to perspective, like my friend Toulouse said... If you live for the moment (without losing site of the long journey) you truly live. And, like Dar said, it becomes something you can then capture the moment in a picture. And, Dar, you do it impeccably ...

Dalifan said...

Thanks Nina! It's also nice that you had a chance to stop and smell the roses in Switzerland due to the intervention of the volcano;-)

T;-)

SF Girl said...

Thanks, Teresa! Thanks to the volcano, I had a great extended vacation in one of Europe's most beautiful places: mountains, cheese, chocolate, lakes, cafe creme... :)

speaking to your post further, I recall doing much "smelling of roses" during my son's early years... when my pace in life considerably slowed to accommodate my son's wonder for the world...