Saturday, October 23, 2010

The Possibilities! Week 5

One thing that I've really been having trouble with since I started the Artist's Way is making time for the "Artist Date." This is one of the key elements of the program and you are supposed to do it every week. Basically, it's spending a couple of hours doing something that seems fun or interesting, that might stimulate you or make you think or feel or want to get up and dance. It's supposed to be done on your own and it's supposed to have no real purpose or productive side to it. It's just playtime, exploration.

I have a To-Do list 2 pages long and thinking about trying to get all that done and still have a couple hours left to play, by myself, has not been easy.  In fact 4 weeks went by and I didn't really do it. I'd read magazines for 30 minutes and say that was my Artist Date. Or I'd count my walks, even though I have been walking and running forever and the main reason I was doing it was for the calorie burn, not to gaze at Autumn leaves. I realize this is all me choosing how to spend me time and fooling myself into thinking I can't spare a couple of hours. I procrastinate hours away. I have found time to keep up with Glee, exercise, laundry and dirty dishes, but not the Artist Date. I do have a little tiny side-list of potential artist dates, but when I would look at them, they didn't really seem that compelling. Museums I've already been to and stuff like that.

Week 5 was when I "moved" to Nashville. And in the Artist's Way, Week 5 is about Recovering The Sense of Possibility. When I went to the Nashville Scene website and looked at the Calendar listings, I recovered my sense of possibility in about 2 seconds. I'm in a city! There are all sorts of places to go and events happening! And the site has this great feature: next to each event is a little link that says "Add to iCal." I must have clicked that button 20 times putting concerts and lectures and art openings on my calendar. I won't go to all of them, but they are here. And I could do them. I might just wake up for the "Laughter Yoga Club" or get my black light out for the "Untitled Glow Show." I don't really have a black light, but I could get one. I could do anything and be anyone now!

For my first real Artist Date, I went to the Finals of the Senior Stars talent contest. This is a local Star Search type of talent show for people 65 and older. It was at the Ryman, which in an amazing place to hear any kind of music, and these guys had so much talent and energy and love for performing. I was tearing up at almost every act, I was up on my feet clapping along with the gospel numbers and on the edge of my seat hoping the baton twirler wouldn't miss a toss. It was overwhelming, not just because people were giving their all, but because they were older. Some of them in their eighties and very stooped and still able to produce a lovely alto sax sound or beat a mean rhythm on the spoons.

When the winner was announced, a couple of women sitting near me went bananas. They must have been related to Robert Shipp because they were jumping up and down and screaming and hugging each other like he had won American Idol in from of 20 million people. It was contagious and I was crying and clapping and screaming, too. I was happy for him. He had won $5000 after all. But also he was an old man, taking a chance,  doing something he loved and getting recognized for it. That's worth cheering for.

So I do have a renewed sense of possibility. Not just from the lengthy calendar listings, but also from the senior stars and the thought that it's never too late to chase your creative dreams. Good morning Nashville, here I come!

Y'all check out Robert Shipp's audition...

1 comment:

Jason said...

Sounds like a great inspiring event to go to. While I'd heard of the book before, your tracking of your process is inspring me to probably set aside some time in a month or so to start it myself! Thanks for the inspiration Abi! Hope Nashville is treating you well.