Crooked lines, artful lives

by | Jul 9, 2012

From July 11, 1999

Photo by trapper keeper via Flickr

Summer finally arrived in the Pacific Northwest on July 5th and, as readers of last week’s New Leaf* know, I took advantage of it to cope with the overachiever gremlins. I took them out into the garden and forced them to sit in the sunshine while I read novels. I continued this practice on and off throughout the week, approaching my desk with the inquiry: “What can I skip today?”

This was most profitable. By the end of the week I realized that 90% of the “to dos” on my desk were self generated good ideas. Now, there’s nothing wrong with a good idea per se, however I had so many of the darn things piled up that I felt beleaguered. I couldn’t possibly do all of them and the pressure had gotten so bad that I didn’t particularly want to do any of them. Once I saw this, I knew that I wasn’t playing hooky so much as I was beating an honorable retreat.

My retreat made space for me to see that my life was not a problem. My work was not a problem. Not even my desk was a problem. And if having too many good ideas is a problem, then hurrah for problems. From this perspective I look forward to the coming week with enthusiasm. I’ll file those good ideas, trusting that if one of them is really important, it will suggest itself again. Meanwhile, I’ll continue for a while to do less rather than more.

What does all this have to do with crooked lines and artful lives? Well, my choices this week sketched a crooked line, a line that led me to a space where I feel both relaxed and engaged. The art part is my life as it emerges when I get out of the way and let these crooked lines meander, drawing meaning from both chance and intention.

The Authentic Promotion ezine used to be called The New Leaf.