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The Seed

"…one can go seeking to find something that one was not looking for. One can find something and see in it something that one has been seeking."

bell hooks

I have been reflecting lately on my work and practice for an upcoming article to be published this summer. It is an eye-opening experience to have someone with acute insights, peruse my website, read my words and cull a list of curiosities about me. I must be accountable for what I have said.

This is a good exercise for any artist to define clearly the purpose and message of one’s work. It has made me think hard, look inward. I recently gave a talk about one such statement: that everything we produce as artists along the timeline of output is already inside us. It’s in there. The seed of an authentic voice. We just have to notice.

But without digesting new insights from a curious outward looking, I risk destabilizing the precious wellspring. I must continually renew may awareness of the patterns that recur in my work and from the patterns, my tendencies be visually cued to influences, words and materials while the inner process steeps.

Growth takes time and patience, like slow stitching, like remembering to remember.

Like Hope Jahren says in her book, Lab Girl, “A seed knows how to wait.”

You’re probably not interested in how circuitous my wait really was. It’s complicated and yet so simple. It’s continuing with no direction, dabbling at or focused on feeding the magpie, writing and rewriting until the seed reveals itself.

But I’ll sign off with a few kernels to consider:

Follow the small scraps of curiosity, triggered by intention or serendipity.

Have a look at both sides.

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