The screeching scrambling monkey troupe that operates many functions of my thinking and the ‘I’ that defers frequently to their yelps, are silent partners. Mostly the troupe leaps and lurches through thinking amidst a persistent erratic chatter and heralds this activity as a condition of the postmodern person –busymultitaskingbeingdoingdododododotryingmoremoremoreheretherewhatnowplusthatthingyouforgot, or it protests persuasively that its frantic itchy scratchy presence is a symptom of the artist who is always searching, questioning, turning things upside down and leaping of tall buildings of expectation. I am its silent partner because I occasionally ask it to please keep quite. This week our negotiations went like this…
ME “Hello monkey mind, its me Hannah. I know you have been spectacularly busy so you may not have noticed that we are in Norway now. May I suggest you all go into hibernation given that this is not your natural habitat. Take a vacation. Lie on a beach.”
“But look at that floor you could sand it and make and dust carpet or you could take all those old tables and sand them and make dust patterns or see those windows that are grimy green and a little mossy you could do that thing you did once where you cleaned patterns into them or you could make some work in the moldy house or your own house or you could do a 24hrDP and you have to write that application and your thesis and that paper or wait wait wait you could do some more paper cut curtains to cover the studio windows or what about pin prick works in scrap paper look there’s some paper use that or the wall or just… and…. and but and”
“sjhfgbrth oskjhg er wirgloookkgjb shoodllkbgb sdkkkk g dlos gosdg s nsbdf,eu ak djh sdjh gh sdjghwgy”
ME “You can’t fool me with your Norwegian. You do not belong in the clouds with me and you are of no assistance to me here. Shhhhhhh.”
Variations of this conversation occur daily and it’s not so much difficult, as it is
repetitive and tiresome like the child who wants to stay up late and keeps getting
out of bed to ask for a glass of water. But I’m getting tougher, setting some rules:
1. Don’t listen to the anxious monkey’s persuading you to make the same old work.
Ok, so I only have one rule and perhaps its more of a sign post – ‘This road does
not lead anywhere intersting. Find another route.’
Now here in pictures is a look at some of the actions, games and activities I have
been doing in order to quieten down and open up to some new possibilities.
But my very favorite things to do every morning is what call a ritual walk into the unknown. I move the furniture around the studio, then I spin around with my eyes shut and very slowly I walk around the space with my hands behind my back and I try not to bump into anything. I imagine that the floor is full of holes and the walls are the edges of cliffs and I never know if I'm going to fall into a well or tumble over a cliff or get hit by a truck/table. It helps to translate physically the mental experience of entering an unknown landscape of creative endevour. And because it is play I feel like I can enjoy the uncertainty and sometimes i get really courageous and start shuffling around really quickly until...smash.