When you start working everybody is in your studio – the past, your friends, enemies, the art world, and above all, your own ideas – all are there. But as you continue painting, they start leaving, one by one, and you are left completely alone. Then, if you’re lucky, even you leave.*
Attention is like energy in that without it no work can be done and in doing work it is dissipated. We create ourselves by how we invest this energy.**
A lot of people, ideas and failures have brought us to this place, and now that we’re here, we need to know that we are enough, that we can do this.
And if things go wrong, these can be some of greatest opportunities:
A “flamboyant” worker, exuberant and excited, is willing to risk control over his or her work: machines break down when they lose control, whereas people make discoveries, stumble on happy accidents.^
Our unique alacrity is attention that don’t necessarily know what it will discover.
You can trust you.
*John Cage, quoted in Lewis Hyde’s A Primer for Forgetting;
**From Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi’s Flow;
^From Richard Sennett’s The Craftsman.