Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Choices, or You Can't Do It All

This week I've been thinking about choices, about how there isn't just one right direction to go in, much as there's not one right partner for you or one right friend for you. It's more about reaching a crossroads - in relationships, in careers, in adventures, in artistic direction - and having to make a choice. I can go this way or that way. The only thing that's certain, is that I can't stay exactly where I am. Or if I do, I'm going to have the most boring, but safe life ever. I think that's why I like this small work above - The Red Door - there are nine possible doors, and which door am I going to choose. I really have no idea where any of these doors are going to take me, but must still make a choice. And then I must walk through the door (this is where courage is needed!) and see what happens.
I have often included both doors and windows in my quilts - they are such a wonderful metaphor for the path to discovery and adventure. Which door indeed?
Back in my twenties, I spent the better part of a year back-packing around Europe. I didn't have a list of places I must go, destinations that I needed to check off on a list, although I had some notion of what might appeal to me. I headed off from New York city on a Greek freighter, only because I wanted to experience first-hand how big the ocean is. And the only reservation I made for myself in that year was the very first one, in Athens. After that, I chose where I went depending on who I met, and what they told me, and what I discovered on my own. It was a wonderful, wonderful time. Sometimes I stayed in the same place for 2-3 weeks at a time.
Yes, this is me, on the ferry to Mykonos. Where I soon met a fellow Canadian and a Kiwi, who became my travelling companions for a month or so. Where I learned about ancient history for the first time - touching stones that had been carried into place three thousand years before. Where I felt what it's like to run across a bed of sea urchins with bare feet, and then have the caretaker at the youth hostel painstakingly remove them one by one. Where I first tasted baklava. None of these things would have happened if I hadn't chosen the Greek freighter door. I couldn't possibly have guessed at all that would follow that, but that choice, the first of many, led to so many amazing experiences. And so it is, perhaps, with the creative life. We need to make choices about which direction we'll go in. We need to take that risk. And then we can open up to see what happens. How marvelous!

No comments:

Post a Comment