Sunday, November 4, 2012

"Counting Up ???" Ambition and Hope

I don't know why I feel in such a literary mood today, but there it is. Back when I was on the up-side of the battle against cancer and seeking ways to focus my energy towards healing and hope, I came up with a cute idea of how to turn a prognosis of short term survival into a race based on art. At the time I was given less than 20% chance of surviving to 5 years. I did some quick math and realized that 5 years is 1825 days. So, I hatched the plan for the "1825 Journal" with the goal being to create a piece of art work every day for 1825 days.

Gosh, gee golly, what a cute idea. Sure, it was when I was still thinking that berating this thing would be pretty beatable. So, away I went -- my chipper and cheerful side showing as I drew and posted, drew and posted, commented on my condition, on the work like some kind of self-appointed critic in a world where Disney-esque cartoon animals flew around spreading hope and cheer as I continued with the battle. 

Well, as you can imagine, having maybe read posts on this blog, or my cancer blog in general that my goal for the 1825 Project may have dried up and flown away like flakey dry skin on my body - another fun side effect. 

As I have struggled with one treatment after another, one disappointment after another, and the opportunities for effective agents for control (not thinking cure anymore anyhow) that it did not seem make a difference whether I completed anything along the way - just waste away the time, watching the world swim past and my days disappear one at at time.

Thank GOD for great friends and family who recognize my habits and patterns and have been doing a great job of late of re-kindling my spirit not only for Art but for life in general, and for the importance of doing SOMETHING while I am still able... 

This group of people has helped me see that the only real limitation on what I create, on how I use my art to keep me focused on the present - not necessarily worried about the future - and that the simple act of DOING is as important for an artist as is breathing... It will not always be easy, often labored, but if I can just settle down, catch my creative breath, it will be worth it. 

Artistically, what I want to leave behind is not necessarily a body of work that sells for seven figures (well, unless that happens while I am ALIVE! to enjoy it!!), . I want to leave behind work that shows that I struggled through, that I was able to maintain an effort to remain positive and creative.

I think this may seem a bit selfish, now that I think about it...? Whom am I, again, to think that what I do or create can do anything for anyone?  At least my kids will have some stuff to look at and possibly enjoy, maybe to understand their Dad a bit better. 

As I continue to live, one day, one hour, one minute at a time, I will try to look at how the creative process and the act of 'doing' art makes a difference for me. 

Looking back at my journal, the "Up To 1825 Project" and find that I stopped at May 29, 2012... I began the project on December 31st, 2011 that means I put in, 152 days. It is now November 4th, which makes for another 154 days.. So, looking at this from a 'Survival' perspective that totals to 306 days. The last bit of math uses the origianal goal 1825 (5 years) subtracting 306 leaving a goal of  1519 days until I really meet the statistic beating goal. 

So, the clock ticks, the chances to be creative slip away, the opportunities to use the artistic energy stored up in my universe slip away into the ether. I will try, once again to capture a little bit of this each day. 

As I have seen, this is not an easy task, yet the more I look at it, not an insurmountable one. 

I need to remind myself that most artists believe their works are not completed - no matter how they look to the public - and that the things I leave behind will live a life of their own.

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