Thank You Thank You Thank You Thank You Thank You Have A Nice Day
Plastic bag, embroidery thread, hornets, wasps, flies, wasp nests
I moved into a new studio this month and found it infested with wasps, hornets, flies and potato beetles. When I mentioned this to my landlord, he said “I guess you didn’t know you were sharing the space”, which was funny but also not the answer I was looking for. While it’s still cold and they move slowly, I plan to kill and collect as many insects as I can until the bag is sufficiently full, then present the bag to my landlord. Maybe it will motivate him somehow. I only have a month or so before it starts getting warm and they start stinging.
This is a photo of my aunt and uncle’s farm in Canterbury, NH. They built their barn on the foundations of a former Shaker laundry building, and their home is nestled against the foundation of an old barn ramp. They’ve been powering it with wind and solar since the 80s, and heat with wood. All of the farm equipment and cars run on biodiesel (which they also make themselves).
This past weekend I was part of the 20+ people who helped tap the 2,150 trees they use to make maple syrup. Check them out.
Part of the artist’s temperament is that inspiration is possible in all things. [There is a] very human tension to abandon a path toward change or growth when it becomes available, maybe because of the way that it’s packaged. Would I rather watch Rachel Maddow than write an opera? Sometimes.
If it’s ten o’clock at night and the kids have gone to sleep…I want to both engage and tune out. [Sometimes] I succumb to my humanness and would rather absorb than generate. And the thing that I’m surprised by is that I continue to overcome. Artists, in general, we overcome lethargy. There’s always something there to dig at.
It’s the volume of inspiration that’s the most surprising thing, the desire to keep going, to keep making. Particularly, when you ask older artists, or you see older artists that maybe have been working for 30, 40, 50 years. You’re like, “Man, why do you keep going?” And they just kind of look back at you like, “Why wouldn’t I keep going?” Maybe that’s a source of surprise that we keep finding a way to keep going.
Inspiration is a tool like blood, like breath. As removed as we are from the kind of auto action of respiration, there’s a way that we can be passive in our relationship to respiration, and there’s a way that we can have a more active relationship with our respiration. And the inspiration, I feel, is the same way that we can have an active relationship with our inspiration to be healthier, more generative individuals. So don’t sleep through inspiration.
Marc Bamunthi Joseph
Sometimes it’s easy to get stuck in laziness, fear of approaching the difficult project or the too-easy one, a difficulty in fulfilling the goal that you set out for yourself in the past. I often feel removed from the process of creation and then I get tired. But perhaps I’m just not breathing as deeply as I could be.