Last night my husband walked up to me and said he was having a hard time focusing. I jumped in, as only a girl will do, with "I know! Me too!". He looked at me, cocked his head a little and I went on about how I can't seem to focus on any one task, I have so much to do and feel like I can't concentrate enough on any one thing enough in order to actually make progress. There's too much and it's all over the board- everything from blog posts to christmas ornaments to a couple events at my church I'm doing the flowers for again, to housecleaning, grocery shopping, and laundry. His look got even funnier and then he said, "I just meant I wasn't seeing well. My eyes haven't been focusing." Oops.
Isn't it funny how we give personal meaning to casual comments others make? I've seen it in my art too and have actually grown to anticipate it. Often it isn't even up to me to find the meaning in one of my sculptures. It's up to me to make it and others who see it will give it meaning. It's a two part act of creation that takes interaction from both maker and beholder. I love that- but it's a little scary too.
It means we can't control what others will feel or see or interpret our work as. We can't hand it to them and expect them to react the way we did. I'm trying to remember the gift that is right now as so many of you are beginning to get your books. My words, my work that YOU will read, interpret and apply (hopefully) to your artist self. The joy in this is that many of you will take from the book so much more then even I could have guessed. You'll internalize it, you'll mull it over, and you'll pull out the parts that really challenge you or speak to you. Your experience with the book will be so different then mine, as the creator.
I'm starting to see the book "out there". It showed up in the latest Somerset Studios yesterday. Even better, I'm also starting to hear from those who have the book what they're reaction to it's message is. A card in the mail, a post it note that says "good book", a casual comment like "wow- it's bigger than I thought". I love hearing them all. One in particular I can share with you, Shelley from Singlestone Studios has been with me through this whole process and has waited so so patiently to receive her copy. She wrote a wonderful blog post about the book that really hammered home to me how differently each reader will receive this book. She really highlighted for me the fact that your experience as a reader isn't the same as mine as the writer and how really wonderful that is. Last night I sat down, and because I couldn't focus on any of my other tasks, I decided to re-read my book. I tried to read it not as the author but as someone else might. I decided it's not possible. I wrote this book, it's my experiences, it's my life, and my art, and it wasn't created for me. It was created for you. So this is my stone throw for the week-I'm asking what you think. If you have read the book, and feel moved to share I would LOVE to hear from you what your reaction to it is. Write a post about it, send me an e-mail at email@example.com, write a review of it on Amazon, or leave a note on my fb page. Tell me what you think and from the bottom of my heart- thank you. :)