The article below was featured in my November 8, 2021, e‑mail newsletter. To subscribe to the newsletter, please use my contact form.
I’ve been making a lot of stuff lately, but it’s mostly been from patterns. Last week, I started a project that was completely free-form. It felt really nice—no pun intended—to play with a felting project. It’s still a secret, so I won’t give you any details. Just to say, it’s fun to play with the materials, to see how the fibers change along the way.
Many years ago, I had the idea that artists had a fully formed image of what they were going to create, before they grabbed the paintbrush. Of course it would be a paint brush, right? Weren’t all real artists painters? My views have changed a lot during the intervening years. Without debating what it means to be a real artist, I’ve recognized that there are multiple ways to create. Make that infinite ways to create.
My usual process is to have a vague idea, mull it over for a while, dig through my stash of materials, and start playing around. After a while, my vague idea begins to morph into something a little clearer. Sometimes, I come to a point where I can’t figure out what to do next. Either because there’s a technical problem, or because the design has gone sideways. Every now and then, when it’s all said and done, and the project is finished, it seems like it should have been obvious all along.
Isn’t that how life is sometimes? You work and work and work on something—an idea, a problem, a skill—and somewhere along the way, it becomes obvious. Sometimes it’s so obvious that you can hardly remember when it wasn’t obvious. I remember being afraid to put my head under water, and I remember knowing how to swim and loving it. I don’t know what happened in between. I remember wobbling along on a bicycle, and a vague memory of running into a bush. Oops! And then I remember riding along as if I’d done it all of my life. I don’t have any idea how I got the hang of it.
At the end of Feldenkrais lessons, participants sometimes ask, “How can I keep this fabulous feeling?” One answer is to keep doing lessons. After a while, you might find that it’s hard to remember what was so difficult previously, or what was so uncomfortable. Feldenkrais wrote a book called Awareness Through Movement. The original title was something like “Improving Abilities.” It’s nice that we can always keep on improving our abilities.
Please join me as we explore how to improve our abilities. No matter where you are, you can learn new things and make improvements. It keeps life interesting, doesn’t it? The Tuesday morning Feldenkrais Awareness Through Movement lessons are Free Pay As You Wish. Please note, no class on November 30. I have jury duty.
If you’d like to work with me privately, send me an email and we’ll set something up.