I got many reminders this week of how uncomfortable it can be not knowing: from not knowing why someone is being rude to not knowing when the next train is coming. And on a far more personal level, not knowing whether my mother is safe, since she wound up in and out of the hospital with TIAs (tiny strokes).
Not knowing how to help is the worst. Then there’s not knowing if it will happen again. I hate not knowing.
So it was pretty funny to also have multiple reminders this week that not knowing is actually the desired state for my creative work.
It started with the very literal case of my not knowing how to use a router my artist neighbor Michael Goldman loaned me. (I have his postcard below in my studio, showing these SF signs that he makes that I love.)
I was able to work that out, but when it turned out the router was the wrong tool for this job, I didn’t know how to make my plywood panels work.
After some thought, I dropped them entirely and got these other panels (made in the USA and not to expensive) from Flax. Big thanks to another artist neighbor, Philippe Jestin, for the tip.Then I finally got to mix some paint and cut loose: Throughout I worked hard to stay in a state of “not knowing,” and the same was true when the next couple of days, as the paintings dried, I started throwing the little wooden people around on these drawings:
My accepting “not knowing” is still very much a work in progress, personally and professionally, but here’s to at least putting in the work and making some progress!