On Intention...

an image showing you quite literally, where I am right now... Odds and ends from various projects I have happening from my daily circle project, my book illustrations and some photography.

an image showing you quite literally, where I am right now... Odds and ends from various projects I have happening from my daily circle project, my book illustrations and some photography.

I used to have a teacher, Frank O’ Cain, at the Art Students league in NY who always called it like he saw it. On occasion I would miss a few days of painting for one reason or another, return to the studio, tack up a huge sheet of paper and frantically work. After about an hour or two he would come over and say, “Good, now that you’ve gotten all that out of the way let’s do some painting.” 

I would go in on those evenings and explode anything and everything I had been contemplating for a piece (or many pieces) on to a page all at once. It happened so fast it wasn’t clear what I was saying, where I had been or where I was going. There was energy and excitement but no clear intention.

Why am I telling you all of this, it’s been a few weeks since I’ve blogged and I know all that is swirling in my head right now so this piece might be the same experience.

(and just sharing all that, I feel a little more clear. Thanks for listening!)

I’ve been thinking a lot about intention lately. To move forward with a clear purpose, an aim. I want to be clear on where I want to go and how I want to get there. I am realizing in order to do this one needs to know more than where they want to go; one also needs to know from where they are starting. 

Yesterday I was sick in bed wasting time on Facebook and came across a post shared by a friend of a friend regarding a real life experience that had just occurred in St. Louis. This friend of a friend had been driving along when suddenly traffic slowed to a crawl, cars started acting very erratically, then a naked man yelling nonsensical things about God came in to view. It was a long story involving mental health, race, emergency services and so much more. The friend of a friend chose to get out of his car and meet this man where he was, naked on the street, screaming about god. He chose to engage with this man and eventually calmed him enough to receive the aid of paramedics and police who had arrived. The friend of a friend chose to meet the man exactly where he was in order to help him get to where he needed to be going.

I’m not naked in the street and I hope I’m not screaming nonsensical things. I am however guilty of not always, or even often, meeting myself where I am. One little mis-step and I’m often chastising myself for hours as I recount a million other similar mistakes I’ve made in the past. That is usually followed by a long internal chat of how mistakes like these will never allow me to get where I ultimately want to go vs correcting the error and simply moving on. It’s a huge waste of time and energy!

This morning in the midst of karate belt test reviews, hair brushing, homework logs, snack day at preschool prep and so much more I managed to almost drop my son off with no lunch. I realized it as soon as we walked in the school door and was fortunate enough to have a friend at the front of the class line who welcomed my little guy while I drove back home to get it. As I walked back out to the car silently scolding myself one of the teachers called out to me, “Don’t feel bad, you can’t remember everything all the time.” In that instant I realized as much as I hated to admit it, she was right. Given the busy morning with all of its moving parts I simply couldn’t. I met myself where I was. The internal dialogue stopped. I drove home peacefully and simply got the lunch. What a relief!

So yes, Intention. It’s on my mind a lot these days. It’s a path, a line. To put it in to design terms the line needs to have two or more points joining it. I put so much focus on where I want to be that I often forget to remember from where I am starting. How about you? Please let me know below.