Thursday, August 26, 2010

Incomplete Manifesto for Growth

The latest addition to my studio inspiration is this clever wire bird sculpture by Nakisha of Blue Dog Rose Studios. I've been wanting one for ages, and this week I treated myself to "hope" as a reward for perseverance.

And from the studio debris, another treasure surfaced: Bruce Mau's Incomplete Manifesto for Growth. This was an old print out,  from years ago when I still worked in fiber regularly. I think I'm going to post the list slowly, one by one, with my thoughts on how they manifest for me.

First off:

1. Allow events to change you.
You have to be willing to grow. Growth is different from something that happens to you. You produce it. You live it. The prerequisites for growth: the openness to experience events and the willingness to be changed by them.

Well, if this year doesn't change me, I don't know what will. I certainly view my mother's death and my own serious injury within a month of one another as life-changing events.  That's what happened. But how do I grow from it? 

I am changed, unquestionably. Some changes are good. Good things I've learned: I'm stronger than I expected. My pain threshold is higher than I thought. Sheer will, hard work, and good surgeons can do amazing things. Some changes are not so good: I now know I'm not invincible (like I really ever thought that!). Life can change forever in a second. Some things are not fixable. Some hurts are so big they never heal. 

How will this change my art? I think it's too soon to tell. Until my body is at least healed enough to feel almost normal, I don't think my mind is capable of integrating the changes. I'm told that six months is almost magical for my type of injury, that it's possible I'll wake up one morning and not immediately feel the "wrongness" in my leg. I'm also told I might need to take the hardware out, which would extend the recovery. The surgeon says that approaching normal may take a year, and that the bone is not completely healed for even longer. It's a long time to hang in limbo. It will be interesting to see what comes of it.