"A work in progress quickly becomes feral. It reverts to a wild state overnight. It is barely domesticated, a mustang on which you one day fastened a halter, but which now you cannot catch. It is a lion you cage in your study. As the work grows, it gets harder to control; it is a lion growing in strength. You must visit it every day and reassert your mastery over it. If you skip a day, you are, quite rightly, afraid to open the door to its room. You enter its room with bravura, holding a chair at the thing and shouting, "Simba!"
~Annie Dillard from The Writing Life
Eleven days---I am afraid to look in my studio---my part time on call job called me in earlier than I expected---I had to wrapped several pieces in layers of plastic and hope for the best. I find it difficult to work on pieces when there is a space of days since the last time I touched it. It's as though I have to reintroduce myself to the piece and reestablish an understanding. There are four pieces in various stages of completion for a show in September. One piece looks very forlorn. It is begging for a voice. Another is not quite there yet. Best way to avoid all this self-afflicted anxiety is to write about it. I am feeling less tense now. It really isn't all that bad. In fact, it sounds a little silly. It is just clay after all.........
Great post - your described it perfectly - that forced time away from your studio. And I love the Annie Dillard quote.ReplyDelete
Hello Judy--I have old, camp worn paperbacks of Annie Dillard's, Pilgrim at Tinker Creek and The Writing Life. I read parts over and over whenever I need a little solace or just to roll beautiful words around in my mind. She has the ability to translate visceral, innate feelings into such powerful words.ReplyDelete