I want to externalize some thoughts that have been developing through reading interviews and having conversations on this here lil’ blog and reflecting on daily activities, teaching, artmaking, world events, and reading.
I suspect that there is a strong desire among most, if not all, of us to be involved in all the activities that give our lives meaning, make us “whole”, and also have them smoothly fit together like a puzzle. Bliss is our “selves” and events in our lives existing as an integrated, harmonized, and collaborative unit. To put it more precisely, for me, that bliss is the mesh of my time with family and friends, working and thinking, teaching, exercising, learning, failing, wasting, winning, loving, asking, talking, writing, touching and seeing.
Now, such coordination would seem impossible. How could one construct a life that operates in this way? I mean, life is too random, there are too many surprises and obstacles that tread on our desires and goals for happiness. And, even when such states are realized, we understand it is brief and anxiously wait for and worry about that “snag”.
What I have just worked out is sort of a broad realization, I do want to bring this into a discussion about art and laws.
In our highly individualized society, we rely heavily on self-regulation. Of course there are established mores and written codes that we may choose or not to abide by. But we certainly develop personal precepts that may evolve over time, but are certainly born out of and used for the benefit of establishing a happy life.
So, I am considering that work and life are really the same thing. Both inform each other and are responsible for the “form” of each other. I have a suspicion that there is ALWAYS a coordination between the two. They are like Astaire and Rodgers, all we need to do is perceive it to be so.
So, reflecting on my personal, mutating “rules” that I apply to my work (and, this is important, do not necessarily apply to others’), I would begin with the idea I just described: my work should never ultimately damage my life or others’ lives. Even though my work can influence my life, the majority of the influence needs to be in reverse.
Also, since my life generates work, the work should reflect the changeableness of life by never resting in one place for too long. This requires openness, and courage to enter unknown territories. Any thing can initiate any action with can result in any form. There are certainly temporary motivations that may require focus and self-regulating methods to reach an undetermined goal, but these methods or “rules’ cannot stay immobile, one system of method (like one work) leads to another, different one. This is true for anyone who is aware, adaptive to circumstance, and generally curious.
And, finally, to actually do all that requires some fearlessness (which is also something that alternates), to be willing to absolutely fail, look like an dumbass, an idiot, deal with personal anxiety about the precariousness and unformed-ness of some result or process, to acually not know what you are doing (actually BE an idiot). The uncertainty is what allows for the coordination of working and living.
Okay, I am going to stop here since I dont want to confuse myself into a “certainty” about everything I just layed out!