“Do you know," Peter asked, "why swallows build in the eaves of houses? It is to listen to the stories.” ~ J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan

3.25.2008

Fear & arrogance



I watched Bull Durham for the umpteenth time (no pun intended) last night - baseball is right around the corner (well, okay, Boston & Oakland played the season opener in Tokyo today, but what's that  all about?), and that means life just feels easier & the air is warming up & the lake & all outdoors is beckoning & YES,  I have survived another winter - what was it George Will called the time of year when no baseball was being played? Something about the long, dark, dreary days of winter - I don't have the book here or I'd look it up. But he was right. Baseball has no time limit, it just flows  and . . . well, anyway,  back to the movie. It has many, many wonderful lines, but last night I was particularly struck by Kevin Costner's character, Crash Davis, telling Nuke LaLoosh that he had to play this game with fear and arrogance.  What a wonderful attitude, and I hereby take it as the way I am going to make art.

And what does that have to do with these gorgeous tulips? Well, the thing is, I'd seen them the other day when scouting the neighborhood on a "photo safari", and even though it's Azalea Trail time, which means the streets are full of people with cameras & permission to take pictures of people's homes & yards - even encouraged to do so, these tulips were quite a ways up into the front yard of their owners' beautiful home - up the steps, past concrete greyhounds wearing green silk bandannas - and really, there were very few people on this block, and I just felt uncomfortable about meandering up the front walk with a camera & snapping away. So I didn't - I just drove by. And was mad at myself for doing so. Part of that annoyance with myself was still hanging around when I passed the Big Gran Fiesta pink dress, whose photo is part of Saturday's post & that annoyance was part of the reason that, after passing the pink dress, I drove a couple of blocks, and made myself turn around, go back & get the picture I wanted. And I did  - I got the picture I'd seen in my head when I first drove by.

So this morning, with the fear & arrogance quote in my head, I turned left instead of my usual right & talked myself into walking up & taking this picture of these incredible tulips, my very favorite flowers, & it was still  hard - there was almost no one on the street - a woman walking 2 teensy white dogs was the only sign of life, and still  I felt uncomfortable. I even drove around the block once while talking myself into doing this. Why this fear, I wondered, but really, I knew  & I know  - I'm afraid of calling myself an artist or a photographer, or even a writer. What if the owners had asked who I was? What would I say? Would I explain I had a blog and wanted their tulips to happy up today's page? Am I afraid they would laugh & say "YOU? An artist?" Yes!  Afraid that the art police would jump out & handcuff me & arrest me for impersonating an artist! And that  means I have to develop some arrogance, along with the fear. "Artist" feels like such an arrogant title, and I've fought that title for years, I've made fun  of that title, but the time has come to give in & own  it. I AM  artist - hear me roar! And hey, even in the movie, Annie tells LaLoosh that he should keep his brain slightly off center, which is where it should be for artists and pitchers. So I'm in good company.


2 comments:

  1. Owning the title "Artist" is always so hard. I find that I have glimps of it now and then, when I see all my pieces together I feel like an artist. I still don't identify my self as an artist to others. Baby steps. I love the tulips..so beautiful! My front yard still has a foot of snow, so visiting your blog is wonderfully threaputic!
    Oh, by the way, I thnk you are an artist!

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  2. Michelle - Bless you! I needed that this a.m., although . . . I AM sitting here typing with paint on my fingertips, so that must mean something!

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