24 September 2012

You Can Only Do So Much

Poetry. Magnetic. Yup.
You can only do so much. You know? Several of my friends are gearing up for this year's Christmas art show at the local gallery. I missed the deadline. Well, really, I let it intentionally slip by. I didn't have anything ready to put in, unless I was going to offer them a few pieces from last year, including a couple they had rejected then. But you know what? I just didn't feel like doing the art show this year. I'll go and admire my friends' work, and maybe even find some new artists to admire, and then I'll go home and enjoy the fact that I didn't have to stress about getting artwork ready for it myself.

It feels a bit weird, though, not doing it this year, because last year's show was a resounding success for me. I sold more pieces than I ever have before in my life. You'd think I'd strike the iron while it was hot, wouldn't you? Or, as it were, strike the clay while it was cold, wet and squishy. (When it's hot, you don't want to go near it, let alone strike it - the glaze firing runs to 1200°C, it melts everything up to and including some types of rocks.) But, well, I've got other things on my mind. And the whole thing about last year's show was that I did it purely for fun. The pieces I put in, I'd made for fun; participating in the show, putting things together for submission, that was fun; and when I sold stuff and got a cheque out of the deal - hoo boy, you bet that was fun! But it was bonus fun, not the point of the exercise.

Whereas right now - what do I do for fun? Write weird magnetic poetry. Or rambly blog posts. And watch my favourite movies, reread my favourite English authors, develop crushes on Lord Peter Wimsey, Inspector Alleyn, Edmund Bertram and the actors who play them, and occasionally cook or bake something good to eat that's not the same-old-same-old thing I make so often it bores me to tears (or causes tears, anyway; the large amount of chopped onions required might exacerbate the boredom-induced lachrymosity).

The thing is that what passes for my work right now, namely my grad school studies, actually requires a fair amount of creative thought and effort. And I have only so much of that creative energy. When I need to write essays for school, or even, as is the case this week, stories and poems (which qualify as fun, or at least creative satisfaction, in their own right), my capacity for "getting things done" is pretty much used up.

It's a little embarrassing at times when people ask me if I have "done any pottery lately" (or painting, or soap-making, or insert-any-of-the-dozens-of-hobbies-I've-had-in-the-past), and I have to answer, quite plainly, "Nope!"

I've composed a lemon cake on Saturday, though, does that count? It's quite delicious. And baked a few poems. And I think I almost figured out whodunnit in "Death and the Dancing Footman"; that takes time, too, you know? I think it should count. You can only do so much.

Life, the Universe, and Good Things To Do. Sometimes you need to get choosy about what you spend your time on.


  1. Ok, ok, I'll admit I almost let the deadline go by, same reason, BUT at the last minute I did it. I don't expect to be juried in but it's good practice, I think.

    It's ok to put some activities aside to focus on what's important at the moment BUT not getting together for coffee is going toooo far.

  2. Oh, good grief, absolutely! But then, getting together for coffee counts as FUN, and that always needs to be kept up.

  3. I've only read the first two Inspector Alleyn mysteries - I am dancing myself with impatience for more of the series.

    And that lemon cake sounds delicious. Cooking and baking is definitely an art-form in and of itself!

  4. Only the first two? Oh, how fun for you - you've got thirty more to go!